My favorite memory of President Reagan occurred after he left office. I was a researcher in President Reagan’s speechwriting office. All former Reagan staffers were invited to visit him in his Los Angeles office, so when I made a trip out to California, I made an appointment to visit the President. As always, he made you feel completely at ease. What I remember the most about that visit is the fact that he apologized to me because he was not wearing a suit and tie. He was going to be in the office for only a few hours, so he was wearing a sports coat and a shirt open at the neck.
Before I left, I told him what an honor it was to work for him, how we didn’t want to work at the White House, we wanted to work for him. He put his head down and said his trademark, “well…” I had embarrassed him.
Historians will argue for years about the effect of his policies, but there is no argument that President Reagan was a gentleman, a good, humble man.