Ronald Reagan – former president

This is Ronald Reagan and these were his favorite things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Reagan appears to be a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs because as a child he enjoyed Tarzan of the Apes. And maybe we should read it to our kids too – Reagan in 1982 - “Our leaders must remember that education doesn’t begin with some isolated bureaucrat in Washington. It doesn’t even begin with state or local officials. Education begins in the home, where it is a parental right and responsibility.”

If by Kipling.  The first four lines:

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

The Bible.  Reagan’s favorite verse was in the gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

What are some good things you’ve watched?

The Waltons. Which may or may not have inspired this joke from remarks at a 1985 fundraising dinner.

“On our way here in Air Force One, I was looking down over your countryside out here because most of the way from Oklahoma I was looking down at clouds. And I could say that it reminded me of a story, but actually, I wanted to tell the story whether anything reminded me or not. It was about a fellow that was driving down a country road, and all of a sudden he looked out and there beside him was a chicken — he was doing about 45 and the chicken was running alongside. So he stepped on the gas, he got it up to about 60, and the chicken caught up with him and was right beside him again, and then he thought, as he was looking at him, that the chicken had three legs. But before he could really make up his mind for sure, the chicken took off out in front of him at 60 miles an hour and turned down a lane into a barnyard. Well, he made a quick turn and went down into the barnyard, too, and there was a farmer standing there, and he asked him, he said, “Did a chicken come past you?” And he said, “Yeah.” Well, he said, “Am I crazy or did the chicken have three legs?” He says, “Yep, it’s mine.” He says, “I breed three-legged chickens.” And the fellow said, “For heaven sakes, why?” Well, he says, “I like the drumstick, and Ma likes the drumstick, and now the kid likes the drumstick, and we just got tired of fighting for it.” And the driver said, “Well, how does it taste?” He says, “I don’t know. I’ve never been able to catch one.”

Mission: Impossible was a favorite show and themes from it emerge in this 1983 remark “The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace.”

His favorite performance in a movie was Knute Rockne All American which included this memorable line, “Now I’m going to tell you something I’ve kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew George Gipp. He was long before your time, but you all know what a tradition he is at Notre Dame. And the last thing he said to me, “Rock,” he said, “sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Rock,” he said, “but I’ll know about it and I’ll be happy.” “

What are some good things you use?

Royal Briar cologne.

Meatloaf, cornbread dressing, and brownies would be a meal the former president could endorse.  That and the fellowship that accompanied it.  “And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

A Subaru BRAT.  Reagan owned it from 1978-1998 and it was used on the 688 acre ranch in Santa Barbara.

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