Nebraskans Talk About Meeting Reagan

By: Risa Avila
By: Risa Avila

Secretary of State, John Gale, had the opportunity to meet with the president in Omaha on a campaign visit in support of Kay Orr.

“It was just an incredible experience to stand at the base of the plane as he came down off the plane with his staff and to shake his hand and feel that strong, firm hand shake and that bright smile of his face,” says Gale.

He says it’s a moment he’ll always remember, “I have never lost that sense of honor of being in his presence.”

Federal Court Judge, Arlen Beam, was appointed twice by the president while in office.

“We had a short but interesting conversation. He seemed genuinely interested in me and I think that was a trademark of President Reagan,” says Beam.

It wasn’t just local politicians who had the opportunity to meet the President. Joel Johnson had lunch with him at The White House.

“In March of 1984, he had 20 fraternity leaders to the White House for a luncheon,” says Johnson.

Johnson says he enjoyed seeing Reagan at ease with his fellow fraternity brothers.

“He was just one of the guys that afternoon, just ‘Welcome to The House, glad you could come to The House for lunch,’” says Johnson.

All three men say they will remember their experiences for years to come.


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