Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An apple for the Prez

007 In the 1980’s I worked in the Missouri Governor’s Office for then Governor, John Ashcroft. Many of you will recognize the name as our US Attorney General not too many years back. I realize he wasn’t exactly popular and many didn’t agree with his position on things, but that isn’t what this babbling is about, so I won’t go there.

My job title was Fiscal Officer. A better title would have been Low (Wo)man on the Totem Pole of Senior Staff. I never knew what the challenge of the day would be.

See the picture of then Governor Ashcroft presenting a paper mache apple to then President Reagan? That was one of the challenges of the day.

Education seemed to be the platform of every politician in the 80’s. Ashcroft presented himself as the Education Governor. So when Ronald Reagan was coming to Missouri for a visit, Gov. Ashcroft decided he wanted to present him with a LARGE apple. You know, an apple for the teacher… Unfortunately he decided this only four days before the President was to visit.

Since dear hubby (who I get so much mileage out of in this blog) was an art teacher, it was only natural for the Gov. to ask him to make the apple. Jim is not one to shy away from a challenge! He bought one of those big bouncy balloon balls, took it into school with him and he and his students made a paper mache apple. Now anyone who has ever worked with paper mache knows it takes time for each layer of paper to dry. They had fans going day and night to dry the pasted paper as it was applied thin layer after thin layer. His students thought it was cool to be part of making something to give to the President of the United States and showed up before school, during lunch hours, free periods and after school to work on this apple. Jim put the final touches on it, painting it candy apple red and lettering #1 Teacher.

This beautiful apple was presented to Reagan at one of the local high school’s assembly, but only after it had been x-rayed by the Secret Service. I didn’t get to go to many of the high profile events, but this is one I got to attend (do you think it had anything to do with the fact that hubby came through in a pinch?) Dang I was proud of that apple. And as the President boarded Air Force One, he was carrying the apple. How’s them apples…

I had no idea a photo was sent to Reagan for a personal message to Jim. Hot diggidy! A signed photo of President Reagan! Or is it… I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. Is the signature real or a robo-signature? What do you think?

12 comments:

Intense Guy said...

Wow, now that's a BIG Apple!

I betcha they were x-raying it to see if there was a worm in it...

That is an amazing piece of memorabilia - the "signed" picture for you and the apple for Ronnie.

I wonder if the apple is in a government storage vault like the one they show in the Indiana Jones movie...when they stow away the Ark of the Convenent...

Or maybe its in the Ronald Reagan Memorial Library... perhaps in the Air Force One exhibit there... someone could check the coat closets at the Ronald Reagan Library

ChicagoLady said...

It sure looks like his signature, but you never know.

What an awesome story!

You should write a letter to Nancy, see if she knows what happened to the apple.

Tori_z said...

Too cool!

Karla said...

well it looks real and authentic..but one can never tell anymore. Usually with something like that it IS real..

Betty said...

Whether or not it is real probably depends on how far along his Alzheimer's had progressed. Sorry, sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself.

AliceKay said...

Wow, what a story. That photo sure is a nice momento of the event. I don't think it would matter if the signature was "real" or not, it's still a treasure. Great job, Jim.

I'm looking at a picture frame sitting on a shelf in this room that belonged to my grandmother, and inside the frame, is a birthday card from Ronald and Nancy Reagan wishing her a happy birthday. She received it for her 90th birthday. Karen has it now....well she will whenever she gets the rest of her stuff out of this room. LOL. Her great-grandma gave it to her before she passed away. I should take a pic of it sometime and we can compare signatures. :)

LadyStyx said...

What a neat memento!

sexy41 said...

Wow amazing. I am so impressed. I hope you have that picture framed. I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing.

Punkn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Punkn said...

LOL Iggy, I hadn't thought about them looking for a worm...
Do you think Nancy would answer me Chicago? Sure she will.... uh huh
Yep, Tori, way cool!
I just don't know, Karla. The skeptic in me thinks it is a robo signature.
LOL Betty, be nice! (even if it is the truth...)
AK - that would be cool. If the signatures are identical, then we'll both know we got a robo signature!
Yea Styxie, it is.
I definitely have it framed, Sexy. Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I'm so glad you enjoy it!

AliceKay said...

They aren't identical. I just held up the card I have next to the enlarged pic of your frame on my screen, and the Reagan part is more stretched out on this card than on your picture. (you probably got the real deal)

Nana said...

That is awesome!!!!