Thursday, February 03, 2011

Reagan centennial, Tustin book, and vintage paper

Sunday, Feb. 6th would have been Ronald Wilson Reagan's 100th birthday. No matter what your party affiliation, it’s hard to argue that Orange County wasn’t the heart of “Reagan Country.” Support from Orange County played a crucial role in his 1966 gubernatorial campaign and both of his presidential campaigns. Reagan himself once said (somewhat cryptically) that “Orange County, is where the good Republicans go to die."

The photo above shows Governor Reagan at Knott's Berry Farm in 1971, celebrating the 60th anniversary of his friends Walter and Cordelia Knott. The image below shows Reagan as one of the three hosts of the national broadcast of Disneyland's opening day in 1955. As president, Reagan's greatest contribution was ending the Cold War and the threat of what he aptly called the “Evil Empire.”
He also played a crucial role that some presidents have sadly overlooked: National cheerleader. This wasn't a political thing so much as an innate capacity that some presidents (regardless of party) have, and others do not. Reagan's earnest yet cheerful optimism and his faith in America were contagious, and helped pull our country out of the “malaise”/pity party of the 1970s.
Governor Reagan bestows a medal to Huntington Beach lifeguard Eric Emery in the photo above. The image below is from the Newport Beach event that launched his gubernatorial re-election campaign in 1970.
This last photo shows future Orange County Supervisor Bruce Nestande, Governor Reagan, and Coach Herb Hill on the field at Loara High School in Anaheim in 1970. Happy birthday, Mr. President.

Guy Ball will be signing his latest book, Images of America: Tustin, on Sat., Feb. 5, 10am-2pm, at the Tustin Area Historical Society Museum, 395 El Camino Real. I’ve only had a chance to thumb through the book briefly at this point, but it looks great so far. I’ll post something more about it after I actually read the thing.
The Vintage Paper & Postcard Fair is returning to the Glendale Civic Auditorium this weekend. It’s worth the drive, and you can usually find some good Orange County stuff. I'll be there on Saturday. Try the enchiladas at the lunch window, they're great!


Connie Moreno said...

Very interesting!

James Woest said...

Hey - it's Mr. Emery, one of Edison High School's finest! This picture is one of the few I've been able to find of him; it and one other can be found in the book "Huntington Beach Lifeguards" (available via Google books.)

Chris, if you're looking for a blogging topic, I'd love to see a post on the life and times of Eric Emery. He was one of my favorite high school teachers, and I've been wondering lately what ever became of him.

Chris Jepsen said...

(@Jim) That's Mr. Emery?!? I didn't even realize that! Wasn't he the English teacher who let us use his room at lunch for SciFi club one year? (Yes, I'm letting my geek roots show -- even more than usual!) I seem to remember a humorous tale about him and a fire alarm.

douglas Macintosh said...

Was a volunteer on the 2nd Reagan/Bush campaign in the mid 1980s. Work a phone bank in an office in Santa Ana. Also did some door to door canvasing. Have a nice signed "thank you" photo from R. Reagan in my office.It is a treasure.
Just watched the 1952 film "Hong Kong" with Ronald Readan & Rhonda Fleming.
The first part of the film looks like the basis for one of the Indiana Jones films. Great leather jacket, hat, trousers and boots.

James Woest said...

@Chris - Yep, that's Mr. Emery. :) (Props to the SciFi club!)

@douglas Macintosh - "Hong Kong" is available for instant streaming on Netflix, and now it's in my queue. You had me at "Ronald Reagan" and "Indiana Jones".

Anonymous said...

Well James, what did you think of the movie "Honk Kong"?
Thought the Reagan costume was great.
It is almost what I wear to work every day.

Chris Jepsen said...

Isn't "Honk Kong" the movie about a giant VW that climbs the Empire State Building? :-)

James Woest said...

Finally got around to watching "Hong Kong" tonight. The outfit was great, but I didn't really care for the film itself.

Awesome as the idea of an fifty-foot tall Herbie fighting off biplanes may be, "Honk Kong" isn't available from Netflix.

JeanWheeler said...

That certainly is Mr. Eric Emery of Edison High School. Where did you get that photo (since it seems to be autographed to Eric)? Does anyone know where Eric is these days? Last we heard he was living in Oregon, but he may have gone back to North Carolina.

Jean Wheeler

Chris Jepsen said...

I got the photo from Kai Weisser when he was working on the history of the H.B. Lifeguards.

Major Pepperidge said...

I love that great photo of Mr. Reagan and Mr. & Mrs. Knott!

Anonymous said...

mr emery was a great teacher. edison high school class of 91

Unknown said...

Mr. Emery was, without a doubt, my favorite teacher as welll. (class of 91). I was lucky enough to have him as a freshman and again my senior year. I was thinking of how he had this way of captivating us with his energy. I decided to google him, 23 years later. I was curious to see if he was ever recognized in his field and what became of him. I came across this article first. It didn't surprise me to see other students also remembering him in such high regaurd. Definitely one of a kind! He was one of those teachers that had a gift. He knew how to keep the attention of, argueably the hardest students to reach, high school teenagers! In a very under appreciated and under paid profession, God bless Eric Emery, cause he did an awesome job mixing in, along with the curriculum, another type of education; with his daily proverbs and the disscussion about what it meant, he taught us lessons in good character too. All this with such passion and energy! So, I simply wanted to chime in here to recognize what he ment to me and say it was an honor to be his student.

Thomas Liodas said...

Mr. Eric Emery is without a doubt one of the most Honorable people I know. He was my Water Polo and Swimming coach at Edison High School in 1969-70. At that time I was working for the City of Huntington Beach Lifeguard Dept. After 1976 I transferred (involuntarily)to the State of California Lifeguards for the next fourteen years (started 1969-1989) where Eric and I worked together fighting crime and saving lives (ha ha). Eric if you are still around go to Facebook and say Hi. Your ol' friend Thomas Liodas.