President Ronald Reagan, whose 100th birthday is on Feb. 6, had a particular fondness for his ranch, his elder son, Michael, recalls with relish. To mark this centenary milestone, Michael hosts Newsmax on a nostalgic video tour of Rancho del Cielo, where he says his father was able to escape the pomp and circumstance of being a giant on the global stage to find the quiet solitude so tied to his love of the simple life.
As Michael reminisces in Newsmax’s special February commemorative issue, “Whether he was in the presence of Pope John Paul II or talking to Mikhail Gorbachev, or just having a conversation with a worker at the ranch, he never felt as if he were better than you. In his eyes, everybody was equal — friend and foe alike. That value was instilled in him in his youth, and I believe that’s why he was able to do so much to change the world.”
Recalling the perennial twinkle in his father’s eye and the perpetual smile on his face, Michael writes, “And if he were alive today, I believe that his message to his fellow Americans would be: Never forget who you came from. Never forget who you truly are. Be proud of your heritage as an American. And live it every day.”
One can’t help but believe that Ronald Reagan’s spirit is alive today, in the personal and professional legacy he left, in his children, and, perhaps — just perhaps — among the hills and valleys, and amidst the trees and the waterways, of the Rancho del Cielo that he held so close to his heart. The California refuge that he gave the whimsical address of “1600 Penna. Ave.” on a sign out front.
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Newsmax’s commemorative issue celebrating the 100th birthday of the nation’s 40th president includes a pictorial tour of the ranch, as well as a chronicle of Reagan’s life in a thoughtful biography by acclaimed presidential historian and best-selling author Douglas Brinkley.
Brinkley’s essay observes that Reagan has become a “3-D folk hero. The Hollywood handsome and Midwest polite Reagan was so personally kind and engaging that even his surviving Democratic political opponents, including Walter Mondale and George McGovern, now admit that they liked the guy [just like Ike].”
The special Newsmax issue recounts Reagan’s evolution from a product spokesman and advertising poster boy for Van Heusen shirts and Chesterfield cigarettes in the 1940s and his acting career into the leader of the Western world. The magazine, and weeklong Newsmax.com homage that the ranch tour video kicks off, features recollections from Reagan’s friends and foes alike. Most notably, one of those foes, Mikhail Gorbachev, became a fast friend after Reagan cajoled him into tearing down the Berlin wall in what became their joint quest to end the Cold War.
Hear, see, and read recollections from the likes of Gorbachev, who confided to Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy during an exclusive interview in Moscow that he and Reagan became good partners in a dangerous world.
Other recollections Newsmax’s exclusive coverage features about the Old Gipper come from the likes of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former GOP vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, former White House speechwriter James Humes, and others.
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