Friday, June 03, 2016

Ronald Reagan - Lifeguard

Recently read Ronald Reagan by Jacob Weisberg. The work is part of The American Presidents Series and based upon this work - I look forward to reading additional books in the series.

Jacob Weisberg is the former editor at Slate so it was interesting to read a biography of the Conservative icon from a view at the very least colored by a leftist slant. I found the book fair and informative although having read all the oral first person histories on Reagan from the Miller Center I would disagree on how Reagan's views on nuclear weapons and the historic events in Reykjavik Iceland are portrayed.

One thing about Reagan's biography really stood out for me. In his youth Reagan worked six summers as a lifeguard on the Rock River which flows into the Mississippi. Every time he had to save someone from the dangerous currents Reagan made a notch in a log which after six years ended up with 77 notches. I relayed that story to a friend who was incredulous. "No way that's true!" Even if the number wasn't 77 but half or a third of that - what a different time that must have been! Can you imagine anywhere in the US having a public swimming area that would require over 10 rescues per year remaining in operation today?

No comments:

Post a Comment