Reagan in his own voice

| offers for download five and a half hours of Ronald Reagan's radio commentaries from the late '70s, with introductions from cabinet members and associates like George Shultz and Ed Meese. This is going on my wish list. (Amazon offers an abridged CD version.)

We had a lengthy dinner table conversation about Reagan's legacy with my seven year old son. The toughest part was explaining the background: communism, the Cold War, ICBMs, inflation, the energy crisis. Later, Joe let me read to him from Reagan's autobiography, which begins with a sketch of his 1985 first meeting with Gorbachev. We read that and the opening chapter, about his first seven years, moving around Illinois as his dad followed job opportunities. He mentions that the course of his own life would have been very different had he been hired by Montgomery Ward to run the sporting goods department in their new Dixon store. That closed door kept him free to pursue his dream of radio broadcasting, which in turn led to everything else.

I was raised to believe that God has a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan. My mother -- a small woman with auburn hair and a sense of optimism that ran as deep as the cosmos -- told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God's Plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best. If something went wrong, she said, you didn't let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on. Later on, she added, something good will happen and you'll find yourself thinking -- "If I hadn't had that problem back then, then this better thing that did happen wouldn't have happened to me."

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 14, 2004 2:24 AM.

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