By Mark Weyermuller -
Americans For Prosperity hosted a birthday celebration last week for our 40th president, Ronald Reagan (1911-2004). The event was held at the Vine Martini & Wine Bar in Grayslake, Illinois.
Americans for Prosperity is a grassroots organization with over 2.8 million activists nationwide who advocate and promote limited government, lower taxes, and more freedom. They have over 93,000 activists across the state of Illinois who are taking action every day on behalf of the free market movement and influencing decision makers.
Peggy Grande was the featured speaker with a presentation on her new book, "The President will See You Now." She was Reagan's executive assistant for ten years after he left office. She told some great stories about the former president. To find out more, you are going to have to buy the book.
It was a fun night for me as I feel a connection with President Reagan. He was the first president I voted for at the age of 20 in 1980. My mom worked for Doctor Loyal Davis for several years in Chicago. He was Nancy Reagan's dad and Ronald's father in law.
I got to see President Reagan twice while attending Drake University in Iowa. I drove in his motorcade as a volunteer with the College Republicans. He sent me a nice letter on White House stationary. Ronald Reagan was born in Illinois, attended Eureka College, and was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. I was a member of TKE also, so we had that bond.
My dad work as a chemical engineer for a trade magazine in Chicago. He was invited with a group of 150 industrial editors to have lunch with the president at the White House in 1987. My dad who was a honorary member of TKE shook hands with President Reagan giving him the "secret fraternity handshake." The president said, "I'm surprised I still remember the handshake." My dad passed away in 1994 but I would dare say he was President Reagan's biggest fan.
After the presentation by Peggy Grande, she opened it up for some Q & A. There were lots of sentimental questions and comments from people here who had fond memories of him. There are several questions comparing Reagan with President Donald Trump. I asked about the intense media scrutiny of Trump and how I recall the same took place with Reagan. Some media said Reagan was just an "actor" yet Grande reminded us that he was a great governor of one of the biggest states.
The media also mocked Reagan for being in a film with a monkey called "Bedtime For Bonzo." They said the monkey was smarter then him.
Of course, the media was wrong as Ronald Reagan became one of our greatest presidents. Time will tell is President Trump will be able to follow in his footsteps. Reagan had a sense optimism which many are feeling again today under President Trump. Just don't ask a Democrat.