Saturday, July 23, 2005

Visiting the Amiable Dunce

Friday, July 22, Anaheim, California

Today was our Ronald Reagan Day. We drove from North Hollywood, where we had spent the night, to Simi Valley where the Reagan Presidential Library is located . The site is up on a sizable hill and reminds everyone, I’m sure, of his famous quote about America being like a ‘shining city on a hill.’ The view is beautiful and it is a perfect resting place for someone I personally considered to be a great American president.

As a Libertarian myself, I did not agree with everything Reagan, a Conservative Republican, did or said. I did admire him as a person, I admired his conviction and his will to do whatever was necessary to keep America strong and relevant. He had balls as big as coconuts.

Americans generally, if you discount the intelligentsia and most of the media, loved Regan. He was strong and firm. He wasn’t wishy-washy. He wasn’t ambivalent. He was like them. The better-than-thou crowd, on the other hand, despised him. He was, according to them, an amiable dunce.

The amiable dunce was born poor. He worked hard. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild. He was Governor if California. He was President of the most powerful nation on earth. He was a decent human being. I’ll take him over Bill Clinton, or the wannabe president, John Kerry, or even George W. Bush, any day.

I like a man who stands by his word and who honours his responsibilities. There are too few men (and women) like that. On a tour of Hollywood yesterday, I sat beside a man who was born poor, like Reagan (and me) and who by hard work and application made a successful life for himself. I was encouraged. I have met so many people in my life who whine and gripe and bitch about everything and who seldom, if ever, take stock of their lives and see how they might improve things for themselves. It is easier to complain about your job or your relationship or your life than to do something about it.

I noticed something yesterday. On Rodeo drive, where Hollywood’s elite and well-to-do tourists shop for overpriced clothes, jewellery and accessories, stores were empty. In each store I looked into as I walked by, a solitary saleswoman stood looking towards the entrance, seemingly wishing for someone, anyone, to come in before she expired of boredom. Is it an anomaly, or the beginning of a slowdown? I don’t know.


  1. I am enjoying your peripatetic excursion. I was hoping you would have reported on the Getty Gallery. Is the temperature today really 115*F.?
    I've always knew you're a cool cat, but my gawd, you must be living in your aircondition rental, or hanging out at freezing fast food survival stops. Keep the messages coming. Wild Bill.

  2. A Getty post will follow. Great place!