Sunday, June 06, 2004

Ronald Reagan is Dead

What to write about Reagan's death? Much today will be written today about his political legacy by those who worshipped him and those who detested him. Let them take care of that.

For good or for bad, I came of age during the Reagan years. Just as my dad can remember every detail of the day when Kennedy was shot, I remember hearing the news of Reagan's assassination attempt in the corridor of Tenafly High School. Later, I remember my sister racing across the campus of SUNY Binghamton to tell me about the Space Shuttle explosion. I was standing by the fountain at the arts building where the students would wade their feet on hot days. It's funny how those tragedies freeze time for a moment.

The Reagan years were also when I graduated from high school and college. When I got my first job as an editorial assistant in New York City. Reagan was background noise while I became an adult. No matter what I thought of his tax policies, I can help but feel somewhat affectionate towards the old codger for that reason.

What I have been most impressed with in all the latest coverage of Reagan's death, is the nobility of Nancy. Who would have thunk? While Reagan was president, she seemed nothing more than an overly thin, superficial Hollywood wife. But then she cared for the brain dead president with such affection and devotion for ten years. There was more character under all that big hair than I would have guessed.

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