Somewhere at sometime a philosopher once said, “The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who are skeptical of others until the others prove themselves, and those who assume that other people are good and decent unless proven otherwise. ” Ronald Reagan was one of those people who assumed that other people are good and decent until otherwise proven. However if a person was to ask another about Ronald Reagan they would give you another answer more than likely.
Some would say that he was an actor and didn_t know a thing about politics, others would say that he believed in what he did and did what he felt needed to be done to improve a situation. Some would say that he lived for others and put himself last as long as those he cared for were well. Ronald “Dutch” Reagan is an elite kind of person that believed in perseverance and hard work and doing what had to be done, even if it meant a low approval rating. Review of Sources Davis (1995), Edwards (1987), and Meese (1992), shared the same thoughts on the life of Reagan.
There is a since of flow throughout the books and the talk of his growing up and experiences. They deal with him growing up, going to school, and Hollywood. Edwards did an outstanding job with her book and kept directly to what she said she was going to talk about. Davis and Meese were more of a tribute to Reagan, but they seemed to stick with the main points. Reagan (1990) is giving is first hand experiences to the reader and does a very good job at it. He makes you feel as though you were there and part of what he was doing and going through.
I enjoyed the book so much that I called his library in Simi Valley, California and bought a copy for myself. Evans (1988) and Lowe (1989) gave good supporting information that seemed to be pretty straight forward with the facts. The information that I read in their books agreed with what I had read in others, so I was quite impressed with them too, but not quite enough to go and buy the book. From Dutch to Ronald John Edward Reagan, who normally went by Jack, was an Irish man who carried a great deal of pride within him for his Irish Catholic ancestry and his love for Irish whiskey.
He was a dashing dresser with a glib tongue and loved to speak whenever given the opportunity (Edwards 23). His wife was Nelle Clyde Wilson, who normally went by Nelle, was a devoted Christian and her one priority was to serve the Lord (Edwards 28). The two met at J. W. Broadhead Dry Goods Store in Fulton, Illinois, and later on the 8th of November, 1904 were married in the parsonage of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton by Reverend J. L. Moloney (Edwards 32). Shortly after Jack and Nelle were married they moved to a town called Tampico, Illinois.
Tampico was one-third the size of Fulton with the population of about 1,276. It was a standard Midwestern town with a couple lumberyards and drugstores. The social life centered around school or church activities and patriotic holidays were an occasi! on for picnics and firework displays. The community was fairly cohesive and its residents shared similar educational and economical backgrounds. Few in the community had gone past grade school, and most had never traveled as far Chicago and considered the nearby towns of Dixon and Fulton, which were an equidistant 26 miles, an excursion (Edwards 33).
On September 16th, 1908, the Reagan_s had their first child John Neil Reagan. Later he would acquire the nickname “Moon” after the comic-strip character Moon Mullins. Then about two and a half years later the Reagan_s had their second and final child Ronald Wilson Reagan. Ronald was born on February 11th, 1911 at home because of the blizzard the previous night before which made the roads impassable. The doctors comment after the birth was, “For such a little bit of a Dutchman, he makes a hell of a lot of noise, doesn_t he? ” (Edwards 33-34).
Ronald was such a big baby that everyone started calling him “Dutch” and that continued with him for a lifetime. School came very easy for Dutch and his desire to learn was great, but due to his fathers drinking, the Reagan_s moved from time to time, but eventually ended up in Dixon, Illinois. It was when he was going to school that it came apparent the young Dutch had a vision problem. He was afraid to put the burden on his parents, so he started memorizing the things that his teachers said and he was amazing with numbers (Edwards 38).
During his senior year he was the Class President, President of the dramatics club, part of the varsity basketball team, tackle on the varsity football team and broadcasted the games over the radio when he didn_t play, and editor of the school paper called The Dixonian (Edwards 69). Nelle was very dedicated to the Christian church and had influenced her children to be the same. Dutch was very active in the church and by the age of fifteen he had his own Sunday School class.
Along with the Sunday School classes, he was also the leader of several prayer meetings and loved to spread the word of God through his actions and his love everyday contacts (Edwards 59). As a young boy growing up in Dixon, the people put the term All-American boy, to Dutch. One town member once said when describing Dutch, “Well, [he_s] a kid who believes in the Lord_s word, respects his elders, and still has enough spit in him to get into trouble once and a while” (Edwards 59).
Moon and Dutch were very competitive in sports thoughtout the town. Both of the boys loved football, but Moon was better at it, however Dutch_s strong sport was swimming. Lowell Park was the local swimming lake for the community of Dixon. The park was ran by YMCA Park Commission, which was head up by Mr. and Mrs. Graybill. The Graybill_s and the other members of the Park Commission were talking about closing Lowell Park due to the number of drownings. Dutch heard of the talk and applied to the concessionaires for the job of being the life guard.
He was hired and worked seven days a week, twelve hours a day for $18. 00 a week and all the nickel root beers he could drink and all the ten cent hamburgers he could eat. During his spare time he would give small children swimming lessons and help others when he saw an opportunity. His boss said, “He was a wonderful, good-natured young man. I never heard him speak one cross word to the bathers. He was real pleasant to everybody and treated everybody the same” (Edwards 64).
Along with helping others, another thing that Dutch enjoyed about being a lifeguard was being on the lifeguard stand. He ! enjoyed the fact that he was the only one up there because it felt as though he was on a stage and everyone had to look at him. Dutch worked his next seven summers as the lifeguard at Lowell Park and not one drowning accrued while he was on guard, and during his time as a lifeguard he had 71 saves (Edwards 64). While life guarding at Lowell Park, Dutch met a young lady by the name of Margaret Cleaver, the daughter of the Reverend Ben Cleaver.
The two of theme decided to go to school at Eureka College. Eureka was a Christian Church School that was located in Eureka, Illinois, about a hundred miles from Dixon. Dutch hadn_t been accepted to Eureka, but he had an appointment with Dean S. G. Harrod. His intentions were to talk the Dean into giving him an athletic scholarship and secure work, because he didn_t intend to return to Dixon on a Greyhound in the morning (Edwards 75). That night Dutch stayed at the Tau Kappa Epsilon House (TEKE).
Since it was a Christian school, the majority of the financial aid and grants went to the students who intended into going into ministry or the teaching of religion, and Dutch didn_t want to study in that field, but instead was pursuing a degree in social sciences and economics, so he had to rely on a scholarship in athletics. Needless to say the! school board accepted him to Eureka and granted him an athletic scholarship for half of the $180 tuition, and Dean Harrod secured him a job washing dishes for his meals at the TEKE house.
The fraternity cost $270, enrollment was five dollars, and the half of his tuition was $90, which left him $35 from the $400 he had saved (Edwards 83). Throughout his years in college continued with being active in school and Margaret and him continued to see each other. By his senior year he had lettered twice in track, was the official swimming coach, a cheerleader for the basketball team, President of the booster club, editor of the yearbook, member of the student senate, treasurer of the drama fraternity, and was still a member of the football team (Edwards 109).
After graduating from college in 1932, Dutch decided to take up a career in radio. He went to Chicago and was turned away by all of the big names like ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. So he strived on with persistence and went to the smaller town of Davenport, Iowa. In Davenport he went to a radio station called WOC, which stood for World of Chiropractic_s, and was given a shot at being a sports announcer.
With his distinctive mellow voice he inherited from his mother, and his great memory from his younger school days, Dutch was outstanding and within three months was offered a job as chief sports announcer at two times his current pay of $100 a month, and he would be working for an affiliate of NBC in Des Moines (Edwards 125). At about the same time he arrived in Des Moines for his new job, he received a letter from Margaret telling him that she was going to France with her sister Helen, and she felt as though her and Dutch needed to find themselves.
One year later she wrote again, except this time telling him of a young man she met that was in the U. S. Consular Service whom she later married on June 18, 1935 (Edwards 131). Once in Des Moines he became the talk of the town. Dutch was not only a sports announcer, but he did interviews with celebrities that came through the city, he did commercials, and he contributed greatly to society. While there he met Joy Hodges who was involved with Hollywood.
Joy setup a meeting with Dutch and some associates of Warners (later became Warner Brothers) and went to Hollywood for a screen test and Warners was so impressed with him that they offered him $200 a week, seven year contract with one a one year option (Edwards 156). On June 1, 1937 his contract with Warners began, he became known as Ronald Reagan, no longer Dutch Reagan. Reagan_s first film he was called Love is in the Air. After that he continued to make films with names such as Dick Powell, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O_Brien, and others. He enjoyed Hollywood, but at the same time he was concerned with his parents back in Illinois.
So he sent for them and provided them an apartment with easy accessabilities (Edwards 176). While in Hollywood he met a young lady named Jane Wyman from St. Joseph, Missouri. Jane was an actor and work close to Reagan. After a while of steady dating, Reagan and Wyman decide to wed. On January 24, 1940, Ronald and Jane were married by Reverend C. Kleihauer, a pastor of the Hollywood-Beverly Christian Church (Edwards 220). Later in June of the same year Jane became pregnant and later delivered a baby girl on January 4, 1941, who was named Maureen Reagan (Edwards 230). Later they would go on and adopt a boy named Michael.