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air force one

Sunday,  02/26/06  09:18 AM

Last night Shirley and I attended "Destination Celebration", a charity fund-raiser for the Assistance League of Conejo Valley (for which Shirley serves as VP/Fund-raising).  The event was held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, which recently added a huge pavilion housing Air Force One.  Not a model, mind you; the entire airplane, the very Boeing 707 which served seven Presidents from 1973 through 2001.  Pretty darn cool.  If you ever have a chance to visit the Reagan Library and see this exhibit, take it; the whole thing is fascinating.  They actually placed the plane on the site, then built the pavilion around it, including a dramatic 60' x 200' glass wall.

Here's a cheesy shot of Shirley and me pretending to be the First Couple, emerging from the doorway of the plane:

(click for larger pic)

Yes, I know.  But it was fun.  To get an idea of the scale of things, check out this photo:

(click for larger pic)

They didn't allow flash, sorry for the blurriness.  Note (if you can) the tables way down below the nose of the plane, that's where 200+ people had dinner and danced the night away.

Anyway, the event was a huge success - raising a lot of money for underprivileged kids - and we had a great time.  I wasn't a big Reagan fan while he was President, but somehow his legacy has worn well; I think history will regard him as a good if not great President.  Certainly a lot of interesting things happened during his time in office ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"), and the library is an interesting record of the time.