Thinking about our Ron Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan, a husband and father, died June 5. He was 93. For us, who are Magnolia neighbors and friends to his son Ron and his daughter-in-law Doria, this is what matters.

All of us have experienced the grief and loss from the death of a close one. For a community that has guarded the privacy of these, our Magnolia neighbors for over a decade, a time has come to reach out. And we have already, in many appropriate ways. For others of us, who have not yet made the acquaintance of Ron and Doria, we can honor them in this time of grief - by renewing our commitment to reach out to one another in this little community they love so much.

It was perhaps our spirit of community in this beautiful place beside a bustling city that brought the Reagans to our midst. And they are, like us, good people - enjoying life in full measure. When folks around us experience a death, it is so important to reach out. No, they do not want to be left alone. They need company, your good company. Willing to reach out. And spend time. And yes, you will think of the right thing to say. You are thinking about them, and care about them, and want them to know that.

The children of presidents never have it easy. Especially namesakes. And most of all when that president is emblematic of an era. It was the case for a man named John Kennedy - just as it has been for Ron Reagan. Two entirely different circumstances, yet with the same challenge.

And thanks in some small part to neighbors with the grace and sense to just be themselves, we have been participants in something rare and wonderful: a presidential son allowed to be... himself. In this day and age of retread politics-as-family-business, I love the fact that OUR Ron Reagan is so darn liberal - it says so much about the American West and our spirit of free thinking. Devoid of any compulsion to lock step, yet paying homage to his father's roots in the Democratic Party and leadership of the Screen Actors Guild.

Still, for a presidential son, nothing can be so easy. Subtle nuance and enigmatic reserve help a great deal. So do neighbors that tell paparazzi to get lost. And now, with such an enormous loss to bear, are caring neighbors who reach out. Just like neighbors do. Like you.

It does not take long for anyone to figure out that our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, is my hero. Much is being said this week about Ronald Reagan, President of the United States. One thing more all of us can add to the remembrances: he raised a fine son. Who bears his name. And is our neighbor. We want you to know that we feel your loss, Ron, and are reaching out among one another in a spirit of caring to honor your father and family. Because this week, as Americans, we are all one family.

P. Scott Cummins lives in Magnolia.[[In-content Ad]]