I just watched Fox News as President Obamarx signed into law a bill to commemorate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan. With Nancy by his side, Barry signed the bill and gave her a pen. How sweet of him (:-P). She was probably holding out for an ipod.
I was in junior high when Ronald Reagan was elected to his first term. Not really being interested in politics or history at the time, I shrugged it off like most teenagers do. It wasn't until my adult years that I realized just how truly great this man was.
The first true memory of his presidency that I have is on Inauguration Day. The Iranian hostages were being flown home, and the school was buzzing about it. We had prayed for their safe return for 444 agonizing days. But I still didn't realize greatness.
I went on through the first term listening to Duran Duran, wearing leg warmers, and rooting for a mediocre Steeler team. My mom was raising my brother and I on her own after her marriage fell apart, so money was tight. We didn't entertain the notion of life as being anything but good. Our worst fear was the Russians launching a nuke after watching "The Day After". I played The Police on my cutting-edge Walkman, and we were happy.
The second term started when I was in my first semester of college. Just to be a rebel, I voted for Mondale. I started experimenting with my new freedom and adulthood. I wish at that time I had realized Reagan's greatness. Not until I sat a few years later when Dutch was no longer in office, as I sat crying and watching the Berlin Wall come down, did I get an inkling about greatness. Still, I ignored it.
I went on through life a Democrat (yes, you read that right). Rich people bad, blah, blah, blah. This continued through my first marriage and birth of my own Limbaugh baby. Life was tough, but not so bad until my marriage dissolved. Young (21) and now alone to care for a baby, I still didn't realize greatness. I voted for Clinton on his first term (OMG! I can't believe I did that!), and life was ok. Then I met my present husband and things started to change.
Two years after we met is about the time I started to realize that conservative views made more sense to me. I started thinking about what kind of country I wanted for my children. I became more informed in my voting and the issues. This all led me to where I am today: happy.
My husband and my younger son both share Dutch's birthday. Fate? Coincidence? Divine intervention? Who knows? I've got a great son who is entering his senior year of college, a son who is your all-American teenage kid with a handsome smile and a zest for life, and a daughter who, at the age of 8, can't get past her inner diva but is truly happy in her life. My husband and I have been married for 15 years (together for almost 19), and while we've had our highs and lows, we still love each other. Looking back, I realize greatness.
Thank you, Dutch. This is long overdue.
Alexander Graham Bell
2 weeks ago