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Reagan: Simple, Rugged and Sturdy - Secret Service Companion Offers a Personal Look
HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE.COM ^ | JUNE 1, 2005 | ROGER CUSTER

Posted on 06/01/2005 3:09:54 PM PDT by CHARLITE

It is not often that a young person can connect with the personal side of the President of the United States, but John Barletta’s new book, Riding With Reagan, allowed me to do just that better than any other book I have ever read about President Ronald Reagan.

Reagan was elected one year before I was born. Some of my earliest memories include watching Reagan on the evening news with my mother. Because I was so young, I had no way to understand the profound impact this man was having on our country and our world. But there was so much more to Reagan than the news conveyed: the simplicity and consistency of his character, which is well described by Barletta in Riding With Reagan.

Barletta was lucky enough to be a close friend of the President after spending many hours on horseback with him at his beloved Rancho Del Cielo. Starting as a Secret Service agent for President Jimmy Carter, Barletta was eventually assigned to the Reagan Ranch because he was one in a handful of agents who could actually ride horses. He and Reagan almost instantly became friends through their long rides in the open wilderness of the California hills.

The greatest strength of this book is the wide range of personal anecdotes that show the personal side of Reagan—“simple, rugged, and sturdy” as Barletta describes. They make Riding With Reagan hard to put down, because the reader can easily relate to Barletta and Reagan. The President did not discuss politics during his horse rides, interesting, when you’re talking about the leader of the free world. Barletta explains how he preferred to notice the beauty of nature, which he saw as a gift from God, hence the title “Rancho del Cielo” or “Ranch in Heaven.”

Some of Barletta’s stories involve world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth and Mikhail Gorbachev. Others involve the intimate details of horseback riding, including what type of saddles the President preferred and the way in which he tied them. I particularly enjoyed the stories about the KGB agents who accompanied Gorbachev and how they had never known anything other than a uniform Communist system. Barletta tells us that some of the agents were even fascinated by simple things like a gas pump and a department store.

Riding With Reagan catalogues the President’s last years on a horse and his eventual inability to ride safely. It was Barletta who was tasked with telling the former President he should no longer continue his favorite pastime of horseback riding. The book describes the President’s time before Alzheimer’s disallowed his public appearances. It also discusses how Barletta was riding a horse when he received word of the President’s death, the way he claims the President would want it.

I had the opportunity to experience the Reagan Ranch in 2004 thanks to the Young America’s Foundation, for which I now work. The Young America’s Foundation saved the property in 1998 and is preserving it as a permanent monument to educate young people about our 40th President. When I visited, I was moved by the modesty and simplicity of the ranch. From the blue “gipper” Jeep to the tack barn to the house, Reagan’s “simple, rugged, and sturdy” style is personified."

Mr. Custer is a program officer at Young America's Foundation.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; gorbachev; johnbarletta; memories; president; rancho; ranchodelcielo; reagan; ridingwith; ronaldreagan; us; visits

1 posted on 06/01/2005 3:09:55 PM PDT by CHARLITE
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To: CHARLITE

Does anybody know where I can find a video clip of Reagan's speech closing the 1976 Republican Convention. I'm reading "Reagan's Revolution" and the author keeps referring to that speech as the turning point for the conservative movement. Yet I can't find it anywhere online!


2 posted on 06/01/2005 3:11:53 PM PDT by Betaille (Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe; CyberAnt; AmericanArchConservative; Travis McGee; EagleUSA; writer33; ...
For your interest!

Char

3 posted on 06/01/2005 3:13:05 PM PDT by CHARLITE (Why do we permit seditious, hateful messages to be shouted from muslim pulpits in America?)
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To: CHARLITE
I saw Barletta being interviewed about the book on TV, and jumped online and got it at the Columbus Library.

Excellent book!

4 posted on 06/01/2005 3:13:37 PM PDT by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: CHARLITE

"Hey! I am rugged and sturdy too!

When Hillary isn't beating me up, throwing ashtrays at my head, or scratching my face with her long nails....

5 posted on 06/01/2005 3:16:45 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: CHARLITE

"Hey! I am rugged and sturdy too!

When Hillary isn't beating me up, throwing ashtrays at my head, or scratching my face with her long nails....

6 posted on 06/01/2005 3:16:46 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Betaille

I haven't seen the clip available for free anywhere, but you can purchase it from C-SPAN:

http://www.c-spanstore.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&cPath=6_13&products_id=74134-1


7 posted on 06/01/2005 3:17:46 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Proud Member: Internet Pajama Wearers for Truth)
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To: CHARLITE
This struck me:

I particularly enjoyed the stories about the KGB agents who accompanied Gorbachev and how they had never known anything other than a uniform Communist system. Barletta tells us that some of the agents were even fascinated by simple things like a gas pump and a department store.

I hope future generations will never know what we went through, as Cold Warriors. To stare down an empire that created people who couldn't understand the freedom to create simple things like we know, today.

A nation that couldn't comprehend something like a Sam's or a Costco, where food is available in such bulk and mass.

To be lied to on an hourly basis about everything on TV or radio or in print.

But I think that last one has almost arrived...

8 posted on 06/01/2005 3:18:50 PM PDT by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: CHARLITE

Nice post. There ought to be a Reagan thread every day.


9 posted on 06/01/2005 3:27:15 PM PDT by don-o (Don't be a Freeploader. Do the right thing and become a Monthly Donor!)
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To: Betaille
Does anybody know where I can find a video clip of Reagan's speech closing the 1976 Republican Convention. I'm reading "Reagan's Revolution" and the author keeps referring to that speech as the turning point for the conservative movement. Yet I can't find it anywhere online!

You sure you don't mean this one from 1964: A Time for Choosing

10 posted on 06/01/2005 3:28:01 PM PDT by JamesWilson
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To: CHARLITE
I've got my U.S. Postal Service Reagan stamps - I always use one when I send letters to friends.

Mr President was, is, always will be the MAN!

I cannot believe it is nearly a year since his passing.

Trajan88

11 posted on 06/01/2005 3:32:57 PM PDT by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: SkyPilot
Wow. Clinton is not looking like he is long for this world.
12 posted on 06/01/2005 3:34:32 PM PDT by IrishGOP
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To: CHARLITE

Another Good Reagan Book BUMP!


13 posted on 06/01/2005 3:43:21 PM PDT by Pagey (Whether Hillary Clintons attacks on America are a success or a failure depends upon YOU TOO!)
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To: CHARLITE

We will never see his like again. How blessed we were to have been alive with him.


14 posted on 06/01/2005 3:46:29 PM PDT by ClearBlueSky (Whenever someone says it's not about Islam-it's about Islam. Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead!)
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To: ClearBlueSky
We will never see his like again. How blessed we were to have been alive with him.

Well spoken! How much I do miss and love that man...

15 posted on 06/01/2005 3:53:04 PM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Reagan Man; Reaganwuzthebest; Gipper08; reagan_fanatic

pings


16 posted on 06/01/2005 3:54:37 PM PDT by Happy2BMe ("Viva La Migra" - LONG LIVE THE BORDER PATROL!)
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To: AmericaUnited

Me too - I get teary-eyed whenever I see his picture. I loved President Reagan.


17 posted on 06/01/2005 3:55:38 PM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: Betaille

Have you tried Reagan's presidential library online?


18 posted on 06/01/2005 4:02:06 PM PDT by GretchenM (They are rich who have friends. - Scandanavian proverb)
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To: Old Sarge

Years ago in Washington state I read about a couple of young home-schooled brothers who travelled to the Soviet Union just as it was crumbling. They saw long lines where people would wait for hours to purchase a loaf of bread and asked why them they didn't bake their own bread.... it never even occurred to them that they could.
These young American boys (still in their teens) taught dozens of Russians how to bake their own bread at home rather than stand out in the nasty weather for hours.


19 posted on 06/01/2005 4:02:08 PM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: CHARLITE
Thanks for the post.

To think that nowadays posters dare to put the current little banty rooster in the same category as this once in a century leader is distressing.

20 posted on 06/01/2005 4:09:06 PM PDT by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
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To: Happy2BMe

Great article and book! Thanks for the ping!


21 posted on 06/01/2005 4:16:18 PM PDT by Gipper08 (MIKE PENCE IN 2008)
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To: Old Sarge
For a real eye-opener, try to find 'Mig Pilot: The Final Escape of Lt. Belenko' by John Barron. It's the story of a Russian top gun type who defects with his MiG fighter to Japan, then given asylum here.
Even though he planned his escape he could scarcely believe our bountiful existence. He thought things like supermarkets and shopping malls were staged for him.

Great book, quick read, go:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380538687/ref=pd_sim_b_1/102-0050728-4335344?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance if you can't borrow one.


Should be required reading for High School diploma.
22 posted on 06/01/2005 4:16:32 PM PDT by skeptoid
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To: Gipper08

You're very welcome sir.


23 posted on 06/01/2005 4:17:51 PM PDT by Happy2BMe ("Viva La Migra" - LONG LIVE THE BORDER PATROL!)
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To: SkyPilot

OK...these are NOT doctored pics...yet the resembelance is UNCANNY!

Which one is saying "This is not tthe Blue Dress you seek!"?

24 posted on 06/01/2005 4:40:56 PM PDT by Itzlzha ("The avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote")
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To: So Cal Rocket

That isn't the clip. It's just two guys talking about the convention for 20 minutes... and they want $60 for it!!!


25 posted on 06/01/2005 4:41:22 PM PDT by Betaille (Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries)
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To: Trajan88

All I can say is: Beloved President Ronald Reagan.


26 posted on 06/01/2005 4:48:12 PM PDT by maxwellp
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To: Old Sarge

To be lied to on an hourly basis about everything on TV or radio or in print.

Or a nation that memorializes the overthrow of a president by an intelligence officer?


27 posted on 06/01/2005 4:51:30 PM PDT by geopyg ("It's not that liberals don't know much, it's just that what they know just ain't so." (~ R. Reagan))
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To: CHARLITE

The last poll I seen Reagan was voted the greatest president of the 20th century and it's well deserved.


28 posted on 06/01/2005 7:42:42 PM PDT by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: CHARLITE

29 posted on 06/01/2005 8:04:30 PM PDT by Paul Ross (George Patton: "I hate to have to fight for the same ground twice.")
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To: Paul Ross
Oh, I can't thank you enough for this photo! I am adding it to my collection of Reagan photos!

Thanks a million! What a superb memory of this stupendous American!

Char :)

30 posted on 06/01/2005 9:48:02 PM PDT by CHARLITE (Why do we permit seditious, hateful messages to be shouted from muslim pulpits in America?)
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