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First Ladies Enjoy Day in Maine With AM-Bush-NATO, Bjt

May 20, 1989

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ While their husbands discussed world affairs Saturday, first ladies Barbara Bush and Danielle Mitterrand enjoyed a yacht cruise around Casco Bay and a tour of the Portland Museum of Art.

″We’re having the best time. Perfect weather,″ Mrs. Bush said as she boarded the 52-foot ″Love Dove,″ a privately owned yacht that was chartered for the tour.

The first ladies had a private lunch of seafood with about a dozen guests at a residence in Cape Elizabeth, followed by a 45-minute cruise around the Casco Bay islands and the famous Portland Headlight - a lighthouse - and they ended the day with a guided tour of the art museum.

French President Francois Mitterand and President Bush spent the day discussing NATO issues at the Bush estate in Kennebunkport.

The women did not entertain questions from reporters, but museum Director Barbara Nasanow said Mrs. Mitterand ″really was taken with the (Winslow) Homer watercolors. She just thought he was a master of the technique.″

Mrs. Mitterand also spent several minutes admiring French artifacts that the French people gave to Maine in 1949 as gratitude for America’s help during World War II.

The museum was designed by American architect I.M. Pei, who also designed the new glass pyramid that caps the entrance to the Louvre museum in Paris.

Dorothy Bush LeBlond, the president’s daughter, said that in arranging the day’s activities for the group, she and her mother ″tried to think of what’s special in Maine.″

So she began the day with a Maine lunch at the home of a friend, Betsy Hunt of Cape Elizabeth, who served grilled scallops, tiger shrimp with champagne, and asparagus raspberry salad, with a desert of chocolate mousse torte topped with fresh strawberry sauce.

Then it was on to the Channel Crossing dock in South Portland, where the bejeweled women, dressed in skirts and high heels, boarded the yacht for a cruise under sunny, cloudless skies, followed by the museum tour.

″We’re very proud of this museum,″ Mrs. LeBlond said, ″so we wanted them to see that.″

Small crowds at each stop craned to see the first ladies.

″We didn’t know they were coming. It’s a real treat,″ said Nancy Maggs of Bar Mills, who was visiting friends on another boat with her husband, Charles.

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