Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan - Harris Ranch  2012

1985 Task Force (scan)

Speaking of Berkeley in the 70s . . .

Not everybody knows that Ronald Reagan was governor of California during the 1970s! (I had to give a quick history lesson to a Berkeley student during one of my East Bay shows.) In fact he was governor. Per Wikipedia:

In an address before the California Council of Growers on 7 April 1970, almost a year after "Bloody Thursday" and the death of James Rector, Governor Reagan defended his decision to use the California National Guard to quell Berkeley protests: "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement." Just a few weeks later, on 4 May 1970, the Ohio National Guard fired on protestors at Kent State University, killing four students and seriously wounding nine.

Since then I've always been intrigued by Reagan admirers. During my last drive down to LA via highway 5 I stopped, as is my wont, at Harris Ranch. I like to check out their fountains, landscaping and of course their opulent Mens' Room. On my way out I noticed a Ronald Reagan framed tribute hung prominently near the entrance and snapped a quick photo. 

Interestingly enough, in 1985 I received an elaborate invitation to participate in a Ronald Reagan Task Force.  Why I would have gotten this I don't know, since Marin County is not exactly a hotbed of conservatism. But although I didn't respond to the brochure's seductive come-on, I did keep it as a cherished souvenir.

You know, looking it over now, maybe I should have become a Task Force Member. If I had, my name would have been "inscribed on the President's Honor Roll and kept forever with his permanent Presidential Papers." The brochure goes on to speculate that "Perhaps someday your grandchildren or great-grandchildren will see your name linked historically with President Reagan himself on this rare document." Alas, I guess that it's too late now.

Reagan Country - San Benito County  2012

Juan Cole article on Reagan.

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