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Posts Tagged ‘Young America’s Foundation’

MINNEN | I USA verkar man vara mer intresserade av att bevara arvet efter sina presidenter än vad vi är här när det gäller våra statsministrar.

Här är det knappast någon som vet var någon statsministrar har haft sitt hem. En förklaring kan nuturligtvis vara att våra regeringschefer tenderar att vara ganska färglösa figurer. Åtminstone jämfört med amerikanska statschefer.

Men man måste ändå fråga sig varför de politiska partierna (eller dess anhängare) inte är intresserade av att bevara några av dessa hem som samlingsplats så att man kan inspirera, utbilda och informera kring sina föregångares ideologi och politik?

Ett exempel från USA är Ronald Reagan och hans ranch i Santa Barbara på amerikanska västkusten.

Under åren 1967 till 1975 var Reagan Kaliforniens guvernör och 1974 köpte familjen ranchen som man döpte om från Tip Top Ranch till Rancho del Cielo. Ranchen i himlen.

Platsen blev Reagans favoritställe. Eller som han själv uttryckte det: ”If it’s not heaven, it’s at least in the same zip code”.

Men när Reagan drabbades av Alzheimers blev hans fru Nancy tvungna att sälja. 1998 köpte Young America’s Foundation, en icke-vinstdrivande stiftelse, stället för att kunna bevara ranchen som ”a living monument to Reagan’s ideas, values, and lasting accomplishments”.

”Young America’s Foundation is committed to preserving and protecting both the Reagan legacy and the ranch itself, which will be maintained just as it was when President Reagan lived there”, säger Ron Robinson som idag leder YAF.

Efter femton år har dottern Patti Davis återvänt till ranchen för att dela med sig av sina minnen till Town & Country.

Här ett par av dessa minnesbilderna:

My father redid the floors of the small adobe house with adhesive tiles meant to look like terra-cotta pavers. He was so enthusiastic about them. “A fraction of what the real ones would cost!” he exclaimed. “And they look so real!” of course, they didn’t. They looked exactly like what they were: vinyl tiles, colored to look like faux-brick, with adhesive on the back. It was kind of charming, though, to witness his enthusiasm, and only when you got around to realizing that he could have afforded the real thing did you touch upon the tender heart of who he was underneath: a young boy who grew up poor in Illinois, often wondering if there would be enough money for food. None of us stray too far from our beginnings, even if you end up becoming the Leader of the Free World.

The same frugality led him to install prefab showers in the two bathrooms, and he was quite excited about them, too – so easy, you don’t have to build a thing! It made him keep the old Jeep that hadn’t exactly been new when I was a teenager. He taught me to drive stick shift on it at our old ranch in Agoura. Somehow he kept it going, seeing no reason to replace the thing if it would still start (which took a few tries). He didn’t hesitate to put Barbara Walters in the passenger seat for an interview, the leather taped and retaped where it had ripped over the years.

[…]

The house has been maintained exactly as it was when my parents owned it, although carpet runners have been placed strategically across the adhesive tile floor. Marilyn Fisher, the curator of the ranch, said she wasn’t sure if they could still find those tiles, should any of them need to be replaced. Apparently other consumers weren’t as smitten with them as my father was, and they’ve been discontinued.

Bild. Tidskriftsomslaget är Town & Country, november 2012. Fotot på Ronald och Nancy Reagan till häst är taget 1983 av Harry Benson.

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