Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Weekend before last my friend, Linda, and I drove from northern California to Simi Valley, in southern California. Among other things I was scheduled to give a digital scrapbooking demonstration in Rancho Palos Verdes, another hour or so away, so I figured it was a good time to combine that activity with a visit home.

My parents live in Simi Valley and my dad is a docent at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library so while we were there we got a private tour. Above is the four of us just before entering Air Force One, which is also at the library now - yes, the REAL Air Force One 747 airplane, which looks just as it did when Reagan used it (as did several presidents before him, but he was the last to use it so I guess that's why he got to put it in HIS library). It's one of my favorite parts of the library.
The library is situated on top of a small mountain in Simi Valley, with great views of the valley below.

This life-sized painting of Pres. Reagan is on the wall at the end of a long hallway. As you walk down the hallway it looks as though he's walking toward you and will put out his hand at any second to shake yours. Awesome!

Reagan loved the outdoors, horses, and his Santa Barbara, California ranch. I think this sepia-toned oil painting really shows his true, and more personal, self.

The Oval Office, exactly as it looked during Reagan's presidency. My dad told us that this is the actual Oval Office, and that the one that is now in the White House is only a replica. Ha ha ha!!!

A specially-minted gold coin with Ronald and Nancy's profiles.

Flags of the world.

One of Nancy's famous and fancy tea sets for teas on the White House lawn.

Reagan's presidential limousine sporting his movie-inspired nickname.

Air Force One!!
It's huge so it's housed in an equally huge hangar-type building.

Air Force One's view out the two-story tall windows.

This pub was in Ireland. Reagan is of Irish descent and much admired in Ireland so when this pub was closed the entire building and most of its contents were disassembled, packed up, shipped to California, and reassembled. Only the name was changed. True story!

Reagan was instrumental in bringing down the Berlin Wall so an actual piece of it is here.

Reagan's memorial. I took this photo in August 2004, two months after he Reagan died, but the headstone had not yet been put in place.

This photo is from this last visit, the headstone is now in place. Nancy will be buried here as well when the time comes.

Right now the MAGNA CARTA is at the library and can be viewed but NOT photographed. It was interesting to see this famous and precious document in a dimly-lit room and with its own personal guard. It is the document upon which our Constitution is based.

I've been to the Ronald Reagan Library several times now and each time it is a little different, and there is something new to see. Some exhibits, like a display of Nancy's clothing, or the Christmas trees, are rotated in and out. There are a number of films, too, that you can watch that really give you the feel of that time in history, including one about the day Reagan was shot, and the strike of the air traffic controllers.

I came away from this last visit thinking I'd write a postcard to Mr. Obama with just one sentence written on it: "Please study Ronald Reagan."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That last sentence is so profound..I am so glad someone other than me thinks the same way.Reagan was strong & caring.They broke the mold...