Thursday, February 11, 2016

Meeting Reagan

When my grandma was in her teens, she sent the actor Ronald Reagan a letter. He replied with a standard autographed picture. So she sent another letter and he replied with another autographed picture. She wasn't satisfied, and wanted an actual response. So she told him that every word that he writes, she will donate a dollar to a charity.

Finally, Ronald Reagan replied with a hand-written letter. This sparked a pen-pal friendship that lasted until they eventually met in the White House. Reagan's letters are sadly lost to history, and I'm not sure if he saved the letters my grandma wrote. However, here are some journal entries from my grandma in 1943.

When she was younger, my grandma was certainly considered very beautiful. And so, a couple years ago, before she passed away, I asked her if Ronald Reagan liked her. "Oooh yeah," she said. However, she said her strict Catholic mother didn't want her chasing someone so famous. So, my grandma did her best to hide their pen-pal friendship from her mother. She said that her mother eventually found Reagan's letters and held onto them. 

Later in life, my grandmother (and my grandfather) finally met Reagan in person at the White House. I'm often curious if Ronald Reagan saved my grandma's letters. Maybe, I'd like to think, somewhere Nancy Reagan couldn't find them. 

Virginia and Gene Eggers wedding photo (my grandma and grandpa) 

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