Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush will be watching the Super Bowl on a cloud up there shouting ‘One more win for the Gipper’.
Ronnie’s most famous acting role, other than as the 40th President of the USA, was as Notre Dame great George ‘The Gipper’ Gipp in the 1940 film Knucke Rockne, All American.
And like all the best method actors he even took it into his own life off the screen, adopting the persona in his political campaigning.
As we mark Reagan’s birthday today (he would have been 110) we can look forward too to the Super Bowl tomorrow too.
It features the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And while nobody is saying Ronnie was a Patrick Mahomes nor Tom Brady, he had some American football acumen having turned out as a lineman for Eureka College in his native Illinois.
And like both he boasted Irish heritage.
The Great Communicator made California his home, of course.
And that’s where you’ll find him now, and where everything Reagan related is kept at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. in Simi Valley 40 miles from Downtown Los Angeles.
Keepers of the Reagan flame
Just like Ronnie himself, the keepers of the Reagan flame are charm personified as I soon discovered at the American Travel fair, IPW.
And like the best friends they always stay in touch.
The good folk at the Library have put on a virtual event which does justice to the Great Man, livestreamed on YouTube at 12.30pm Pacific/3.30pm Eastern.
The commemoration includes brief remarks, a three-volley salute, musical entertainment, and the laying of the Presidential Wreath on President Reagan’s gravesite.
A word or two from Ronnie
Of course as it should be Ronnie, his life, achievements (and remember he oversaw an economic boom and helped end the Cold War), and words are to the fore.
True to the wit of the man, the Library has adapted a famous story from his life to mark the 110th in their spiel for the Big Day.
‘President Reagan would have joked that it is the 71st anniversary of his 39th birthday. As President Reagan quipped on his 73rd birthday ”Even though this is the 34th anniversary of my 39th birthday, those numbers don’t faze me at all. I believe Moses was 80 when God first commissioned him for public service. And I also remember something that Thomas Jefferson once said. He said, ”We should never judge a President by his age, only by his works.” And ever since he told me that, I’ve stopped worrying.’
Ronnie’s distinguished Vice President and a future President himself, George HW Bush spoke emotionally at the Republic Convention in honour of his great friend in 2004.
When he exorted the audience by saying ‘this time we can truly win one for the Gipper.’
George HW Bush passed away a couple of years ago when I was in his adopted state of Florida.
I saw then the affection then in which he, and ex-Presidents, are held there and across the country.
So tomorrow, whoever wins, let’s here the clarion call: ‘Just one more win for the Gipper.’
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