Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Field Trip - Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday Party

Won't you come along on a field trip to celebrate Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday?

On February 6th, my mom and I drove out to Tampico, Illinois, where Reagan was born in 1911. There were all kinds of celebrations that week, including a fancy fund raising dinner in Chicago and another in Reagan's boyhood town of Dixon. Unfortunately, the keynote speakers, Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich forgot to send me free tickets and I didn't have money for the $250 a plate event. Besides, I prefer the small town, home grown affair.

My mom and I attend every year. Last year she wasn't able to attend and I dragged the Farmer. Remember? We met Reagan's son Michael, who was in attendance.

The road to Tampico is the typical northern Illinois scene. It's flat and sparsely populated. Farmhouses in this area are spaced apart by many acres. The roads are straight and set up in a grid pattern. Think straight and flat.

Tampico is small, only 800 residents and I always say that must include pets and livestock. It's only a few blocks square.


We've arrived at the small storefront that houses the Historical Museum. This is not a museum devoted to Reagan, but a place where all the local history is housed. The Reagan Birthplace Museum is a few doors down.


Mom stands under the bunting.


They're open for the party and we're all invited to come in.


Sign the guest book. They've had vistors from as far away as Iceland. Lots of Germans have visited also and there's a large piece of the Berlin Wall displayed in nearby Dixon, Illinois.

The local history contained in this building includes class photos from the local schools.


There are lots of other interesting items including this barber's chair.


Many of the locals gather to celebrate and catch up on their lives.


The press is in attendance to get the story.


The press contingent includes this photographer from the Associated Press. Photographers hate to have their photos taken, so I see this as a coup! He was a very interesting person. He had the choice of staying in the city and covering the snow removal or driving out to Tampico to cover the birthday celebration. He chose birthday!


Three local schoolchildren were chosen and crowned king, queen and prince. Their task was to cut the cake.


The queen took her job very seriously.


The prince was a bit confused about why we were singing happy birthday to someone who'd died.


Lighting the candles.


Birthday cake!!


Thanks for coming along with us. I hope the drive was not too boring.

Grab some red, white and blue jelly beans on your way out.



Mom Taxi Julie said...

Too funny about the "confused" boy lol. I remember when you went last year. :)

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

The king is what I would call a real straight shooter!
What a memory for all the kids to someday tell their own kids.

If only we could clone a new Reagan and put him back into office right now things would be a whole lot better.

Theresa said...

One of my favorite Presidents! Thanks for the visit and pictures.

Pat said...

Lots of snow and a fun trip for you. I recall when I was in school we always celebrated Abraham Lincoln's birthday as a holiday. I do not believe Indiana does that any more; does Illinos?

The midwest does a great job of celebrating!

Now that I live in Georgia, the town of Plains celebrates President Carter's birthday, but the state does not. You would enjoy Plains, GA. It is quite midwestern except for the hometown accent. ;)

Vee said...

Both John and I have enjoyed the tour. I'm laughing at the confused prince, too. I'm sure that he's not the only confused one. Hope that those danged reporters got the story straight.

Lisa D. said...

Thanks for the field trip. I needed an outing. Towns of that size are very typical here in the Canadian northwest. A town of 3000-5000 is a large town. I always laugh when I hear someone refer to a town of several thousand as a small town. To me, that's huge! I totally understand the queen and the prince. I have two daughters that would take the job very seriously, and two sons that would also be confused as to why the celebration and why they were dragged into it.
Oh, and smart photographer! Birthday celebrations have cake, snow removal does not come with cake.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Fun outing...for a President who deserves to be celebrated!

Brenda said...

Enjoyed reading about your field trip. Wish there was another Ronnie out there, we sure could use one. Love the king and queen.

Rose said...

To my way of thinking, one of the greatest presidents ever. And for sure a great man.

Have you read very much from the people that worked for him? They all seemed to have really loved him...and that is saying something.