A DAY WITH THE BROTHER

Been an exciting day.

I took my car to a new place – and finally after a year and a half driving around without anti-lock brakes I think they’re fixed – even though the other place said they wouldn’t be able to do any more work on them unless taking the entire computer system apart.  So far, so good, so we’ll see.

Meanwhile, my brother and I headed west (well, a little bit west) to visit Ronald’ Reagan’s birthplace in Tampico. I’ve visited presidents’ homes all around the country and have been to Reagan’s Dixon childhood home at least three times, but never made it to Tampico.

Downtown Tampico was quiet when we arrived – in fact, only one person was in sight – a lady sweeping petunia petals from in front of the birthplace. As we walked across the street, she put her broom down and welcomed us inside. The downstairs had many tables with a lot of memorabilia in plastic. I guess people come by and give the museum Reagan “stuff” they have acquired over the years.

Anyhow, our guide was very thorough. She told us about the town and how she grew up on a farm – and how she lives in the house where Hugh Downs’ wife lived as a child which was sort of an unexpected non sequitur in a tour about Ronald Reagan.

Ronald was born upstairs in the apartment over the bank. (You can also tour the bank which has original wood, marble and even checks from 1920. The guide gave one to each of us – so now they have two less original checks.)

We went upstairs and again had a grand tour of all the rooms which our guide says is a much more impressive place than the Dixon house. In the back of the apartment was a room lined with windows – sort of a second-floor sun porch – the room connected to the apartment in the building next door.  Ronald’s babysitter lived in that apartment – so his mom would simply hand him through the window.  In the picture, I am coming through the window from the babysitter’s.

After wandering around a little more, we went outside and took some red chair pictures – which if you know my brother, you’ll understand – if you don’t know him – well … he likes to take pictures of people sitting in the red chair.

As we drove away, the guide (still the only person in sight in downtown Tampico), went back to sweeping her sidewalk.

We drove about a block away to see the house where the Reagans moved after leaving the apartment. I would’ve taken a picture, but a lot of stuff was out front and it wasn’t all that picturesque. As we headed out of town – we looked back and saw our guide sitting on the bench in front of the museum waiting for her next visitors.

So, why not stop by and see her?

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