February 7th 2009, We discussed what trip we could make that would be close to Van Nuys. I recalled watching the funeral of President Reagan and remembered that his Library is located somewhat close to us, if I'm correct it's actually closer then what I thought, We are within 50 miles (actually 31 miles !)so here we go.
"The doors of this library are open now and all are welcome. The judgement of history is left to you, the people" Ronald Reagan 4 Nov 1991.
The cost of this trip is about $12.00 per person.
There are many permanent galleries to walk through and view the history of one of our Presidents, there is also Air Force One available to tour, Marine One is also located here, not available for a look see. Permanent Galleries consist of the following:
* Launch Theater * Early years gallery * 'Citizen Governor' gallery * New beginnings gallery * The Oval Office * The President's Residences-photo's and garments * First Lady Nancy Reagan * Presidential Gifts, there is also on temporary loan other items of history, one being the Magna Carta, this will be available until June 20 2009.
Ok...so the above was written prior to going to the museum, now that we have walked through the Reagan Library, have taken many pictures (except Air Force One and the Magna Carta) Air Force One being restricted for photo and film...still holds secrets? Obviously we know the Magna Carta is old and any flash would cause damaged.
As we exited the Library, we looked at each other and stated "that was worth the entry fee, every penny of it" I hope that the pictures that we load up to this posting tells just a little of what all was available to view. It doesn't matter what Political Party you belong to, one would be in awe of the history that was provided to the people. I'm sure that I could use up the 3,200 character limit with this posting to explain to you what all was available for viewing, it is hoped that the pictures tell the better story.
It had rained here for three days, the 31 mile drive was beautiful, I pulled over a time or two and rolled down the window for Donna to get a quick snap of the camera, She did get out of the truck as the traffic wizzed by to get the best picture of the landscape. When we arrived to the mountain top Library, the view was tremendous, scenic mountains with storm clouds circling the very tips of the rocks, a light rain was falling, it was about 52 degrees or so. We were met at the entrance of the Library by a bronze statue of President Reagan, I didn't expect the building to be as large as it was, very well organized, clean,I thought, (Donna found DUST!) the staff was quite helpful in answering questions that we had. The rooms just seem to go on and on, there are three floors to the library. There are so many personal items that are on display of the Reagan's plus all the different items that had been gifts from different world leaders and private citizens.
The day before, Feb 6th, the Library hosted a Birthday party for President Reagan, Mrs Reagan I was told didn't attend, as she is about 89 years old, I thought that I heard President Bush was in attendance, the Presidential wreath (red/white/blue)at the grave site may have been from him. Donna and I were surprised that the 737 that the Reagan's flew around the world in wasn't that plush, it didn't look that comfortable at all, the cockpit held a crew of five (they had to be quite thin!) to fit, the pilot's uniform still hangs in the storage closet as if he will be returning once again for a flight out. We were surprised that on display was one of the first 'lap top' computers, it was referred to as the 'football', it is carried by Military personnel where ever the President goes. The president had his 'office', his sleeping quarters, bath on the left side of the craft. The hallway was on the right side, with 'rooms' sectioned off for the First Lady and family. We were able to see where the staff sat in crowded seats behind the sectioned off rooms, a little detail that I noticed was, in order for four people to sit down, the chairs didn't slide back as expected, actually the table sides were hinged, the person with the window seat would lift the edge of the table up and slide in, when the second person sat down next to him the hinged table edge would snap back in place. I pity the occupier of the window seat come bathroom break! Pictures were not allowed as stated, we had the opportunity to purchase a picture of us waving at the door of the aircraft, but the price of $30.00 was a bit steep, so we passed that one up. A gift shop and a cafe is available to the public in the "hanger deck", there is another gift shop located on the first level as well.
The gardens were beautiful, in the "Gipper Grove" tree's and flowers were beginning to bloom, the mountains provided a wonderful backdrop for the library and such a peaceful place to be laid to rest.