Skip to comments.On a Messy Room and the Limits of Government (RR's letter to teen asking for fed funds)
Posted on 06/11/2004 9:27:19 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch
On a Messy Room and the Limits of Government
Andy Smith, a seventh-grader in Irmo, S.C., wrote the President in 1984, "Today my mother declared my bedroom a disaster area. I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room."
I'm sorry to be so late in answering your letter but as you know I've been in China . . .
Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem; the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother. However setting that aside I'll have to point out the larger problem of available funds. This has been a year of disasters, 539 hurricanes as of May 4th and several more since, numerous floods, forest fires, drought in Texas and a number of earthquakes. What I'm getting at is that funds are dangerously low.
May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that government has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative program, calling upon people to practice voluntarism in the solving of a number of local problems.
Your situation appears to be a natural. I'm sure your mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3,000 already underway in our nationcongratulations . . .
Sincerely, Ronald Reagan
I won't assume that you posted this because Pres. Bush just told the story during his eulogy to Pres. Reagan...only because I don't like to assume...
What good teeth he had!
I'm glad you're not going to assume, because you know what happens when you assume; oh, never mind... :)
Wonderful!!! I LOVE PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN; he will always be MY HERO!!!
That's exactly why I wouldn't assume. However, the poster never commented on whether his posting of the story was a coincidence or if it was inspired by Pres. Bush's eulogy.
it was inspired by Pres. Bush's eulogy.
I wonder where Andy Smith is now. I'd like to see an interview with him.
I read a wonderful story about President Reagain in my local paper this morning. A local artist was commissioned to do a portrait of the president. He arranged to spend several days with President Reagan in order to get a sense of him.
Well, they became friends. President Reagan showed the man his secret stash of nuts which he said he liked to sneak to the squirrels on the grounds when the guards weren't looking. This was very mischevious because that year the squirrels had been doing damage to the grounds.
At the unveiling, Nancy just stood there and looked, and after a long time turned to the artist with one tear on her cheek and said, "That's him. That's my Ronnie."
The president simply said, "Yep, that's the old buckaroo."
BTW, I look forward to your morning cartoon ping!
Related story .....
Dear Mr. President, My room is messy ...
Display of letters to commanders in chief includes 15 from kids
10:29 PM CDT on Sunday, June 13, 2004
WASHINGTON A girl who wanted to keep her father home during World War II and a boy who wanted federal help to clean his room turned to the one person they thought could make those things happen: the president of the United States.
So, like thousands of others each year, they wrote the commander in chief. Their correspondence will go on display at the National Archives and Records Administration in an exhibit that opens in November.
It will offer a wide-ranging sampling of the archive's holdings, including 15 letters from children.
Carolyn Weatherhogg was 10 when she wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II.
"Dear Mr. Roosevelt," she began, "I am sending you a suggestion that is draft fathers alphabetically." She apparently figured it would take her father's draft board considerable time to reach the 23rd letter of the alphabet W.
The agency does not have the envelope, so it is not known where Carolyn was from or whether her father went to war.
Seventh-grader Andy Smith of Irmo, S.C., sought President Ronald Reagan's help after his mother declared his room a "disaster area."
"I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room," he said in a typed note.
Mr. Reagan sent Andy a handwritten, tongue-in-cheek reply. In it, he noted a new effort the Private Sector Initiative Program set up to encourage volunteers to tackle local problems rather than relying on government help.
"I'm sure your mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster," Mr. Reagan wrote. "Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with more than 3,000 already under way in our nation."
The letter and Mr. Reagan's response were mentioned by President Bush when he eulogized the former president last week.
Fourth-grader Brandon Golden of Lafayette, Ind., struck a plaintive note in a letter to the first President Bush.
"I like the educational tools we have in our schools," he wrote, "but could lunches be better?"
Sometimes the young letter-writers became well-known. Fidel Castro, 12, wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940.
"If you like," the future Cuban dictator wrote, "give me a ten dollars bill green american, in the letter because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them."
More than 35 years later, Mr. Castro told a reporter how proud he had been when he got an acknowledgment from a U.S. diplomat. There was no $10 bill.
Then there is the letter from three girls in Noxon, Mont., to President Dwight Eisenhower.
"We think it's bad enough to send Elvis Presley in the Army, but if you cut his sideburns off we will just die!" they wrote.
Online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/nation/stories/061404dnnatkidsletters.927fc.html
He is a middle school teacher and football coach. Both of his parents taught middle school social studies.