I'm currently reading "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life" by Peter Robinson, one of President Reagan's speechwriters.
It's an awesome book, and I highly recommend it to all the Reagan-ophiles out there.
I'd like to share something from inside it where he writes how President Reagan got to be known as "The Gipper".
I'm not going to dictate it word for word, as not to infringe on any copywright laws.
When President Reagan first became an actor in Hollywood, he had a fascination with Knute Rockne, a famous Notre Dame football coach, and George Gipp, a legendary halfback who died at a very young age. Reagan saw himself as George Gipp.
Warner Brothers, Reagan's employer, showed no interest in producing a movie about Rockne or Gipp. Despite Reagan's attempted persuasions, they refused.
One day, Reagan was reading "Variety", a Hollywood newspaper, and saw where Warner Brothers decided to produce the movie Knute Rockne - All American.
"Well," Reagan tells Peter Robinson, "I marched right over there to let the producer know I was going to be his George Gipp. He told me I wasn't big enough. I said 'Would it surprise you to learn that right now, I weigh 5 pounds more than Gipp when he played for Notre Dame?' That got his attention, but I still hadn't convinced him. So, I drove home, found a yearbook photo of myself in my college football uniform, drove back to the studio, and paid a second call on the producer. When the producer saw that yearbook photo, he arranged for me to test for the part the very next morning. And the day after that, he called to say 'Reagan, you're playing the Gipper.'"
The moral of the story in the book is that even as a young actor, Reagan was always Reagan. He saw his goal, and he went for it, d**n the obstacles.
What a great man.
[ 01-22-2004, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: Hane ]
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.