Friday, June 11, 2004

Just over twelve hours - Reagan

The day is over and already I'm back at this keyboard. I'm surprising myself.

It's been a long day. We ended up watching Reagan's funeral for a few hours this morning and early afternoon, from Washington D.C. Then we caught the last hour televised from CA at the burial.

It was so poignant, listening to the comments and reflecting upon those events which took place during Reagan's presidency. Those years were a time of coming-of-age for me - early adolescence and teen years.

I remember hearing the announcement that the hostages had been freed. I had a piano masterclass that afternoon, and we sat around my teacher's dining table and discusssed it excitedly. It was unbelievable to us.

I still remember the day that Reagan was shot - we heard the news in my science class with Mr. Arnold. I remember being to scared that he was going to die. I liked Reagan, although I knew very little other than he was our president.

Those early years of his presidency were really frightening to me. I was learning specifics about nuclear war and the devestation wrought by atomic weapons. We watched films from the 1940's and 50's which documented its horrors. We had bomb drills and were instructed on the locations of the nearest shelters in our schools and neighborhoods. We discussed in school the timelines and distances covered by a nuclear explosion. We discussed at home our "plan", should a bomb drop on our community.

I really thought that I was developing ulcers as a result. I had nightmares and DAYmares about a nuclear holocast, worrying constantly for the safety of my family and friends. I listened to debates about Reagan's Star Wars plans and read about wars and tyrants in the Middle East.

Yet the 80's were still a time of growing up. Boys, clothes, passing notes in class, school, church activities, playing video games at the mall, wearing make-up and getting my first pair of high heels. I heard about the booms on Wall Street and the greed of Yuppies and how women weren't having babies, but rather trying to break through the Glass Ceiling. Duran Duran was a favorite group of mine, along with Prince, Huey Lewis and the News, Men at Work, Sheena Easton, Lionel Richie, and Michael Jackson. Can't forget Journey! My friends and I would listen to records of Quiet Riot and try to figure out the lyrics, spinning the vinyls with our hands in order to slow the music down. Hahaha! I made my money babysitting for $1/hour. ONE DOLLAR AN HOUR FOR FOUR CHILDREN! Here in New York City in 2004, you're lucky to find a sitter for $5/hour for ONE child - plus the accompanied subway ride back.

Anyhow, I am enjoying this blog business. It feels good to get things down and out, as it were. I actually feel a slight sense of company/companionship from my computer screen. Is THAT scarey, or WHAT?!

I will miss President Reagan. But as Dubya said, we have missed Reagan's presence for longer than a week. I know that I have! I am proud to say that I think he was a great president and a Great Man. He possessed a lot of qualities that I would like to incorporate into my own life: optimisim, great attitude, treated others - ALL others - with respect, loved his family, stayed firm in his beliefs without wearing his faith on his sleeve (a comment made by his son, Ron), inspired others, and was a hard worker and good citizen. God bless Ronald Reagan. God bless America to be more like Ronald Reagan - to love their country and to do their best in her behalf.

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