Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Richard M. Nixon – Our 37th President

So with everything that has been going on in our lives (for those of you that know me, you know what I am talking about) Danny and I finally had some time on our hands to start doing stuff for us again. So this last Saturday we went to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace, I know this might not seem like fun to a lot of you but I LOVE this kind of stuff. I was giddy from the moment we pulled into the parking lot…it was the same feeling I get when I go to Disneyland.

First I will start off by saying that I have the WORLDS BEST BOYFRIEND (don't argue with me that yours is better...I will win)!! A loonnngg time ago…I made a list for Danny of random things that I wanted to do such as going to the Zoo, going bowling and going to the Richard Nixon Library. I know, I am a girl with big dreams!! Hehehe. Next to each thing that I wanted to do I put the date that I had decided I wanted to do this…this way Danny couldn’t get out of it by saying it was something I had just asked to do…I am a smart girl! Well bless Danny’s heart he has had the weight of the world on his shoulders the last couple of years, just an insane amount of pressure. So one day I was sitting at work and I start getting all this calendar invites for the outings I had listed so long ago…Danny had taken the time to schedule each and every one of them (that were currently possible). I felt special. (I also was happy that I have a boyfriend who enjoys doing these types of things with me.)

The day at the Library was a great one. We got up early, took the dogs to the vet and the bill came to much less than I thought!! Off to a great start, then we headed home, dropped off the babies and it was off to the library.

I won’t bore you with all the details of the library, because I know some of you might not find it as fascinating as I do, but the library day went something like the following. We arrived at the library, got in for the student price=SCORE, looked around the lobby, then started the main portion of the museum. Side note: weekends are excellent days to go to museums…far less crowded. We quietly walked through this portion of the library, reading letters and looking at memories. Richard Nixon accomplished so much and lived a life with many “peaks and valleys”. In the museum they have a letter he wrote to a friend that suffered a stroke, expressing concern and offering assistance, just hours after writing the letter President Nixon suffered the stroke that would cause his death several days later. One of Danny’s favorite items in the library was this picture from Nixon’s funeral:

He said, “Those were the five most powerful men in the world, at that time, all sitting in one row…WOW!”

I so want to go into all the details of Nixon and his wife Patricia but I am realizing this post is already way to long for most people. After getting halfway through the museum portion, we headed back to watch a movie. This was great!! It was filmed when the library originally opened in 1990 and Richard Nixon speaks about his life as a president and as a man. My favorite part was a section where is talked about peaks and valleys, he said that he has been in some low valley’s in his life and that he believes it isn’t possible to be happy in life with out these valley’s because you would never be able to truly appreciate the peaks.

After the inspirational movie, I turned to Danny with “that” look on my face and he said, “what do you want?’ and I said, “can I buy a book today…please?” Of course Danny’s response was, “I knew that was coming as soon as the movie started!”

We headed back out into the main portion of the museum and finished up there. Again we learned some AMAZING things about Richard Nixon…I wish I could tell you all of them.
Once you complete the museum portion you head outside to see the burial site for Mr. and Mrs. Nixon, the last time I was here was just days after he was laid to rest. To me the greatest part of the library is that is built around the house that Nixon was born and raised in. They house holds many “original” items, including the bed that our 37th President was born in!

Just being able to walk in the house he walked in so many times is inspirational. He came from small beginnings and worked for everything he had.

They also have the helicopter, “Sea King”, which served Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. You are able to walk through the helicopter which is and added bonus…again I don’t know if I am weird but I seriously got the chills thinking about the men who walked into that helicopter before me. This is the actual helicopter President Nixon left the white house in, the famous shot where he turns around to say good-bye to his staff and displays the two peace signs.
I know I have bored you all to death and I swear that wasn’t my intention but I just get so excited about this type of stuff. I will end this posting with a few final thoughts.

I am fully aware of the fact that when most people think of Richard Nixon the first thing that comes to mind is Watergate and “I am not a crook.”…this is so sad for me because I think he was a great president and even more importantly a great man. He accomplished so many things like during his life. I believe that Nixon resigned his Presidency not because he was a crook but because he honestly felt it was the best thing for our county, he was willing to sacrifice. As President Nixon said, “I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is opposed to every instinct in my body. But as president I must put the interests of America first. Therefore, I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” Presidents before and after him, have done worse and not been as passionate about our country.

On a side note if I was in to the whole big wedding thing, I would have my wedding here in a heartbeat. It is so beautiful and full of AMAZING history.

Next on the list, Ronald Reagan Library…they have an Air Force One…how perfect is that!?!?

Yes I did get my book (remember I have the best boyfriend in the whole world), A Life in Full, Richard M. Nixon. It is just over a 1,000 pages and I have set the goal to read at least 10 pages a day. All in all a very humbling and inspirational day!!

A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits. – Richard M. Nixon


Anonymous said...

Hmm, wow, Nixon... Now lets get things more interesting. What did you guys do that evening :)


Mel said...

You are right. You DO have the best boyfriend. That is SO sweet that he started sending you meeting invites from your "to-do" list. Can you have Danny give my husband some pointers...even if it is over the vent system during their WOW games???

I couldn't even get Dave to watch "No Reservations" in the movie theater. I had to wait until one of my best friends came over so we could watch it together. :(

I find history interesting as well. I also like to hear stories about people who came from small beginnings and through perseverance and hard work they became something exceptional. I believe that we all of that little something in us that makes us special and exceptional...it's what we choose to do with it that makes us unique and sets us apart from the rest. It only takes one person with a passion to make a difference.