18 April 2014

The Gipper

18 Apr 2014--On Wednesday we drove out to the Reagan Library, about 30 miles east of here.  Here I am introducing myself to him...later I do a screen test with him. haha

I mentioned that we were 30 miles east because we are 30+ miles "inland" from the ocean.  These 1st 3 pictures are looking out the back of the library, while the bottom pic is from the side.  I asked a greeter whether it was smog or fog, and she said that she wasn't sure, but "some people around here call it haze"!!!  haha  I didn't say it out loud, but I would call that "willful ignorance"...haha  What I did say out loud, with a smile, was that it didn't look like a very healthy haze.  haha  Anyway, Reagan is actually buried here somewhere on the grounds but we didn't look at the brochure till we got home (I know, how stupid!) so we missed that.

It seems like Ronny might have been a bit of a momma's boy.  His mother's people were from Scotland/England, while his father's great-grandfather immigrated here in the 1860s from Ballyporeen in County Tipperary.

There is something about those old cigarette ads I like, and I always remember his 1st wife, Loretta Young, for that role she played in the movie with Hallie Mills...(can't remember the name of it--anyone else remember?)

I can't help but think of him "playing" a soldier and thinking of him "playing" a president.  haha  You have to give it to him, though, he played it like a drum!!!  haha

Here I am doing a screen test with him.  I was really disappointed that my contract wasn't picked up.

He wrote more than 700 letters and notes to Nancy, in addition to sending a steady stream of telegrams when he was travelling.  I like how this handwritten note ends.

The 70s weren't a lot of fun for the country, huh?

I am reading a biography of Thatcher right now, and though it is not always flattering to her, it claims that she is the one to actually point out to Reagan that Gorbachev was a man they could work with.

I didn't realize that Hinckley used only a .22 in trying to kill the president.  I do remember being in Russian Linguist school in California, on a break between classes, when we heard of the attempt.


The Oval Office as it looked when he was there...and a baby elephant, one of the many gifts he received as president.  I know every kid wants a pony, but why not think bigger?  haha  How cool would that be!?

Air Force One and Marine One.  The plane is a 707 and was used by Reagan...we were able to walk through it.  Today's Air Force One is a 747 and much, much bigger.  This helicopter was actually used by LBJ...the one Reagan used is still in use today by President Obama.  That's me "acting" presidential entering the helicopter in the video...I did the sloppy salute on purpose...they all seem to do that.  haha

A little trick photography as I act as a Secret Service Agent running alongside the presidential car.  (I am so fast it took me twice!  haha)

Me and Ronny out for a ride.(I think he has a little "man boobs" issue going on.)

In June of 1982 Reagan visited Berlin, and I was there! He actually flew into Tempelhof AFB, the base I was stationed at, and I stood in formation as he deplaned and "reviewed the troops" from the red carpet. As a young military person, on the front lines of the fight for freedom, I was beaming with pride that day.  Totally ate up!!!!  haha  Our base was about a mile from the Wall and Checkpoint Charlie...#2 on the map.  On the Communist side of the wall, every 100 yards or so, were these towers (pic 4)...there were always 2 East German guards in them, watching us as we watched them.  There were always 2 because their bosses never trusted that if left alone they wouldn't make a run for it.

Reagan is re-elected in a landslide in 1984.  Two interesting things here...up until the 2000 elections, the Republicans were depicted as "blue" states and Dems as "red".  I didn't realize that and I wonder why?  More interesting is the 2nd pic...I wonder what percentage of Americans ever think when they vote for a president that his (or hopefully soon her--haha) legacy will potentially haunt their grandchildren with all the judicial appointments they make.

Lots of stuff on the Communists, of course.

I always wondered where George W. Bush got the idea to cut stuff down on his ranch...haha.  And a final thought:  Love him or hate him, regard him as a great president or think he just played one on TV, he certainly did make a difference!

We are leaving here tomorrow to a little south to Seal Beach, a Navy base closer to Los Angeles. From there we will see Nixon's Library...haha...bet you can't wait!!!


  1. I love the interview and the boarding of the helicopter that was great.

  2. First, his first wife was name Jany Wyman, not Loretta Young. And the movie was Polyanna.

    Looking at pictures of his parents, I think he was adopted, lol, who did he look like?

    I cannot hear the videos, so I will as Michael to use his computer when I get home.

    1. Oh yeah...I meant Jane not Loretta...and thank you for the Pollyanna....I LOVED that movie when I was a kid!