Today's Tickets @ 2 Song: "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
ronald reagan and shotgun tom kelly Remembering President Ronald Reagan

President Ronald Reagan & K-EARTH 101's "Shotgun Tom" Kelly

As we come up on President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday I can’t help but thinking back about that day in November 1987 when I met him in the West Wing of the White House. Congressman Duncan Hunter and myself walked in to the Oval Office and The President got up from behind his desk and walked over to the shell bookcase to meet us.

He said “Hello Shotgun, I understand you were keeping the people entertained while they were waiting for me in San Diego.” I said, “Yes Mr. President, and I bring you this ranger hat as a gift which has been a part of my broadcasting career for years.  It is my hope that you will try it on.”

He took the hat from me and said, “Well, looks like it fits just fine.” And the White House photographer took the picture below.

ronald reagan and shotgun tom kelly2 Remembering President Ronald Reagan

When we were waiting to see the President in the hallway outside of the Oval Office I said to myself, “What am I going to talk about with the leader of the free world? I’m just a radio guy.” And I thought, “well talk about what you know, broadcasting.”

When anyone gets a meeting with the President it’s 5 minutes. As we talked about radio and his recreating the ball games back in Iowa we stayed for 10 min.

It’s a time I will always remember.

Comments (5)
  1. Alonso Rodarte says:

    Wow! It’s amazing that you met him and that he actually wore the hat in the picture. Even when nervous, the mind still finds the right words to express exactly what you feel!

  2. Sue Ellen Rosenwirth says:

    Thanks for sharing this,great story, I will think of you
    when they mention his birthday and the Regan library which
    is close to me, so I guess I will be thinking of you quite a bit.

  3. RainbowRay says:

    WOW! What an experience! That must have been something! I bet you won’t forget that experience, I know I wouldn’t. Positive life experiences like that are something one wouldn’t forget.

    I remember the man fondly in my teen years. To this day, he is still the one president I admire the most as I did back then. Why? Well, for one thing, I admired his ability to stand up to communism (remember “Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall!” and a few years later, guess what happened?)

    I also think that he was a great statesmen and public speaker (I remember his debate with Jimmy Carter, wow, what a perforamnce he put on).

    I believe I have that actual debate on a DVD I possess on the history of the U.S, Presidency from the 50’s to 2004 I think. Quite a bit of nostalgia on that one.

    Alot of people hated Reagan and there was alot controversy about him and his Presidency (remember the Iran Contra affair and Oliver North?), but I like him for the man he was and for what he stood for.

    My favorite Reagan movie is “This is The Army”, very patriotic and nostalgic (we can all forget those Bonzo movies if we’d like).

    Happy 100th birthday Mr. President which by the way falls on the same date as what would have been my grandfather’s 105th birthday (he lived to be 100; miss you Opa!). RainbowRay and Eric’s Mirror are also for my family.


  4. RainbowRay says:

    In addition to that last e-mail, I have just finished reading a book on Ronald Reagan; it has photos of his childhood, high school, college, broadcasting career and of course his political career. Wow! what a life he had and I sure do miss him. Loved him or hated him, you sure had to admire him for his spunk and statesmenship.


  5. Kim Roach says:

    Hey Shotgun, That is so cool To meet the President. I sent Mrs Regan a card when the President died, and a picture of Ronald and Nancy when they first got married, and superimposed the lyrics to a song called I’ll be there” by the Escape Club and a copy of the song. A very haunting song that came out in the mid 90’s. You should check it out. In return I got a thank you card from Mrs Regan, and she signed it herself. It was addressed to Myself, my husband Bob, and to my son Eric. I had signed all of there names to the card when I sent it.
    I told my son to never sell it.

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