I’ll be spending a large chunk of my birthday on a plane later today, but the opportunity to visit the Young America’s Foundation offices and the Reagan Ranch was well worth it. Quite a special treat. After speaking to students, staff, and local YAF supporters in Santa Barbara, I drove up to visit Rancho del Cielo with the kids and fellow lecturers. The ranch truly reflects the essence of the man–there’s a spirituality about it, infused with modesty, self-reliance, and purposefulness. In other words: Quintessentially American. Quintessentially Reagan.
A few fun tidbits: President Reagan laid the linoleum flooring in the tiny, 1,500-square-foot home himself. There’s no central heating; just two fireplaces warmed the house. Naturally, Reagan chopped the wood himself. The showerhead at the ranch’s modest bathroom is a replica of the Liberty Bell. A few deer, horses, and cattle still roam the acreage.
The visit was both inspiring and dispiriting–an infectious reminder of Reagan’s enduring greatness, strength, and character, but also a depressing reminder of how small, mediocre, and wanting our current crop of Republican presidential candidates (let alone the rest of the GOP leadership) seem by comparison.
Here are a few photos:
Sunrise in Santa Barbara
YAF headquarters, in front of Reagan’s Jeep Scrambler
The entrance to Rancho del Cielo
A Gone With the Wind parody poster featuring RR and Margaret Thatcher
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