Sunday, May 8, 2016

Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Walls, Publicity and Lasting Friendships ... The Times Have Changed, and Not Necessarily for the Better

During the Mother's Day celebration at our house today, my son Chad and I commented on President Ronald Reagan's 1983 quote that I used for the Mother's Day blog posting.

After Chad had left and the day's festivities had ended, I remembered with fondness what happened several decades ago in my old high school gym on the occasion of our high school football coach's retirement celebration. It occurred, to the best of my recollection, on a summer evening in the early 1970's.

But first, let's review briefly the subject of tearing down and building walls.

Ronald Reagan famously told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to 'Tear down this wall!" in a June 12, 1987 speech at the Berlin Wall. A legendary part of the Cold War, the 'Wall' had divided East and West Berlin since 1961. {By the way, 1961 was also the year I graduated from that small high school in central Illinois.}

Today Donald Trump insists that he'll make Mexico build and pay for a wall which will separate the U.S. from Mexico.

Growing up in Illinois, Ronald Reagan played football for Eureka College in central Illinois. He played one end and our high school coach and my good friend's father played the other end.

When my coach retired from teaching and coaching in the early 1970's, we had a retirement celebration for him in the small town high school gym where many of us had played during our high school years. 

The surprise of the evening was a very public 'piped in over the loudspeaker' telephone call to our coach from then California Governor Ronald Reagan. It was a wonderful and surprising gesture made to our coach from a former fellow end and college teammate, as well as the later-to-be 40th President of the United States.

Somehow I can't picture Mr. Trump doing anything like that today. There weren't any TV cameras around that night, nor any other publicity. It was simply a nice gesture by one friend in honor of another.

Yes, times have changed since those good old days, and not necessarily for the better.

At least that's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

1 comment:

  1. That's a neat story and one zinhaven't heard. Thanks for sharing. And I agree about Trump not being the kind of person who would do something nice "just because."