The Corner

Reagan@100: The Stranger at the Other End of the Room

Not sure of the year, but I think it was 1975, I was asked to give the invocation at a luncheon in a Philadelphia hotel. Most of those present were economists, of whose subject I am innocent. Beforehand, I was left in a side room, solitary save for one stranger at the far end of the room. He was studying lines on small note cards He noticed me standing alone, preparing my spontaneous remarks just as he was doing. After some moments of silence, he walked the length of the room and offered his hand: “How are you, Reverend? My name is Ronald Reagan.” His kindness was spontaneous, and in his humility he assumed correctly that I did not know who he was, and he did not mind that at all. Not long after that he became better known.

— Father George W. Rutler’s most recent book is Cloud of Witnesses.


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