Tuesday, May 25, 2010

President's Day 2010!

This is Simi Valley, California, circa February 15, 2010. What is in Simi Valley, you ask?

This is in Simi Valley. What is this, you ask?

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library!

I visited the Reagan Library on President's Day, 2010. How cool is that, right!? There are special activities on President's Day.

They have to make special parking arrangements on President's Day at the library.

The library has a nice fountain.

Someone getting her modeling career off to an early start.

Abe Lincoln was there!

Little known fact: Abe Lincoln, fastest judo chop in the Old West.

A statue of Reagan.

George Washington, yeah, he was there, too!

But this is the Reagan Library. So there are portraits of Reagan.

There are busts of Reagan.

Would you rather see a charcoal portrait instead of the color portrait?

America: Reagan Country! You know it!

A nice picture of the Reagans.

But like I said, there plenty of Reagan portraits!

Taking this picture got me scolded by a museum attendant. "No more flash pictures past this point," she said, "it can damage some of the exhibits." Actually, she was very polite, she really didn't scold me.

Some of the museum pieces on display.

A closer look at the lapis lazuli elephant. Lapis lazuli is a really cool semiprecious stone.

This is another early exhibit. It's the (new) suit Reagan was wearing when he was shot. I can't even imagine how much worse the world would be if Reagan had been murdered in his first year. How awful!

Reagan baby! There are some displays on youthful Reagan. I took pictures of mostly the political stuff.

Ah, back when American cars were not manufactured by the government . . . .

They didn't all come with signs in the back that said "Reagan is our man," of course. But they should have!

Ronald Reagan for Governor!

Fast forward to 1980! The time is now. Or at least it was then. Reagan Bush!

We now begin the button portion of our program. The 1980 Peanut Cruncher! What peanuts is he crushing? Inflation, Foreign Policies, High Taxes, and Unemployment. Sound familiar?

Women for Reagan! Collegians for Reagan! Everybody for Reagan! Well, that wouldn't happen until 1984.

Reagan for President!

Tax Payer for Reagan! For Commander-In-Chief Reagan In '80!

Let's make America great again. That was the 1980 slogan. There are people nearing 30 who have no idea what that transformation was like. That's too bad. Wow! Am I old!

Make more Republicans! The button portion of our program is concluded. Seriously, though--I'm not sure it's wise to encourage the politicians . . . .

There is a more detailed display on the assassination attempt further into the library. This is Reagan's x-ray. His left lung is seriously messed up. The bullet was about an inch from his heart.

If that isn't enough to sober things up, here is a picture of the inaugural flight of Columbia, the "First Space Transportation System."

From the main library museum, we step into the Air Force One Pavilion. The presentation of Air Force One is awesome. This picture does not do it justice.

The tail fin of Air Force One.

The side of Air Force One. I'd seen Air Force One parked at Andrews AFB a long time ago, but not this close. There were these big signs that discouraged me from approaching, saying things like "Use of deadly force authorized." The signs were particularly effective combined as they were with the nearby armed military personnel.

The Presidential Seal on Air Force One.

A picture of Air Force One with Marine One in the background. To the left is the red carpet where you can pose and the museum will take your picture (for a fee, of course!) waving to the crowd, President-Reagan style.

There is also a big Air Force One mural.

It's big, like I said!

There is also a display on the Cold War. The CCCP? Remember them, anybody over 30? I'm old, like I said. Communism? Socialism? Evil Empire? Reagan is the reason I have to put all those question marks there.

Nuclear Armageddon? Global Thermonuclear War? Mutually Assured Destruction? Anyone?

Duck and cover? Nuclear winter? Anybody? Ronald Reagan was an awesome President!

More museum exhibits. As in history.

A missile defense. What a concept! Some Democrats still don't get it. They are slow learners. Well, to be fair, many of them are America-hating leftists.

There is also a display of a presidential motorcade. Here is the presidential limo.

Not as curvy as the Suburbans of today. And check out the red beacon light!

Great license plate!

The flags on the Presidential Limousine.

A close-up of the flag on Marine One.

And a close-up of the seal on Marine One.

I wandered outside the glass and took a picture looking in on Air Force One.

This is a picture of the valley in front of Air Force One. It really is just great!

That's it for the Air Force One Pavilion!

On the way out of the pavilion, I stopped for a picture with Ronald Reagan!

There are some more exhibits after Air Force One. There is a replica of the Oval Office. For some reason, I feel like I've already seen it, although I guess I never really have, even though I did visit the White House once (on a tour, of course!).

These were two signs Reagan had on his desk (replicas available for purchase in the gift shop, naturally!). One says "It CAN be done." The other says "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."

Lots of people sent President Reagan belt buckles!

Don't doubt the power of simple wisdom!

This is one side of an actual piece of the Berlin Wall.

This is the other. I'll let you figure out which side was on the democratic side.

Wandering around the grounds of the library, you can encounter a fighter jet in the Peace Plaza of the Reagan Library. Peace through strength. Yup.

Here's the plaque. I don't remember any explanation of why an F-14 was placed on display here. Except, of course--why not!

There were a couple of these elephant bushes around.

OK, maybe I should call them topiary elephants. Hmm. Here's a closer look, anyway!

This is the vista from the other side of the Reagan Library. Sure, it looks nice . . . .

. . . but this is the sign that is at your feet! I am used to thinking about snakes when I am out tromping around geocaching--but not going to the library!

There are signs for all of the presidents at the Library that line the road leading up to the library. It was kind of like parking at Disneyland. I parked under a sign for the Bald Eagle, I think.

By now the museum was closed and the grounds were emptying out.

One last stop. The epitaph, which Reagan wrote himself, reads "I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life."

There were a number of wreaths at the grave. I do not know if they were there especially for President's Day or not. Several years ago, I visited the Capitol where President Reagan lay in state. There were wreaths there, then, too.

The first wreath.

The second wreath.

The third, a nice white wreath.

The fourth.

The fifth.

And the sixth. This was obviously my favorite. It was a fantastic display of red, white, and blue.

The final resting place of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

The end of my visit to the Reagan Library.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 

Category: Life