POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

One for the Gipper

by David Trumbull

June 18, 2004

“I remember tax rates dropping, interest rates lowering, and all the havoc that Carter caused being repaired in fast order, “ was the response of the North End’s Brian Brandt when I asked friends what they remember of Ronald Reagan. Brian continued, “I remember the values we represent being represented to the world. And I remember the world liking it. And I have never turned back. Ronald Reagan was not [just] a great communicator. He communicated great ideas.”

I guess that’s why the people of Massachusetts twice voted him President.

I remember Reagan’s years in the White House. I remember that his message of hope and opportunity was not welcomed by all hearers. Mary Wagner of Sandwich remembers the Reagan who believed so much in the power of great ideas that he would speak even to hostile audiences for the chance to possibly break through their prejudices. She writes, “The year I went to the National Parent Teacher Association Convention, President Reagan spoke. [Our delegation] was a typical, liberal group, hissing and ridiculing him. So I did not sit with them. I found a delegation that wanted to cheer for him--they were from Texas.”

Julliete Cox of Verona Public Relations in the South End recalls Reagan’s awesome respect for the office to which the nation had elevated him. She writes, “I heard an anecdote about President Reagan one time that really impressed me and I have never forgotten it. I was working in the Senate while President Clinton was in office and in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I remember walking to the Senate with my boss, Senator Arlen Specter. Senator Specter was saying how disappointed he was in President Clinton's actions and how he remembered a time with the President was dignified and honorable. Then the Senator told me, ‘Did you know that President Reagan had so much respect for his position that he refused to ever take off his suit jacket inside the Oval Office as a gesture of reverence for the Presidential workspace?’ I was very impressed by this but not surprised.”

My Godfather Tony Chamberlain, now in Bistrita, Romania with the Peace Corps, summed up, in the brief caption to an e-mail, our reminiscences of President Reagan--“The end of an era.”

David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee; he may be contacted at (617) 742-6881 or Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.