A small personal descant in the chorus of hosannas re the Great Ronnie.
In April 1986, I was privileged to accompany Vladimir Horowitz to Moscow on the occasion of his one and only return to his Russian homeland, for concerts in Moscow and Leningrad. We arrived from Paris to discover that Reagan had just bombed Libya; two weeks later, while we were still in the country, Chernobyl blew up. Fun for the whole family.
(You can see a picture of the scene, in happier times, here.)
Well, it happened. Nancy shifted her chair once too often and over the side she went. A real trouper, she recovered nicely and bounced right back up with the assistance of the poor Marine. Reagan flashed that famous grin and quipped: “Honey, I told you only to do that if my speech didn’t go well.”
A couple of weeks later, a package arrived from the White House. It was a photograph, taken at the moment Ronald Reagan and I shook hands, inscribed, “To Kathleen and Michael Walsh, with best wishes, Ronald Reagan.”