My Reagan Moment

After Ronald Reagan’s funeral, my mother reminded me of our particular Reagan moment. Ronald Reagan lived in the Pacific Palisades, which meant that he generally took 26th Street to the freeway. We lived right by 26th Street, and generally took it in the opposite direction to go to Franklin Elementary School.

One morning, as my mom and I were driving to school in our Dodge Dart along a nearly deserted 26th Street (I was probably 5 at the time), we met a presidential motorcade coming the opposite direction, as Reagan was probably on his way to the airport. As we drove past, I waved at the President. My mom was worried that a nervous Secret Service agent might open fire, but no concern was necessary. Instead, the most powerful man in the world instantly recognized his audience and waved back to a 5-year-old boy in an aging compact car. No cameras, no photo opportunities, just a chance to reach out to one of his constituents, no matter how little.

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