Happy birthday, Mr. President. I never had the great honor of meeting you, though how I wish I had. Back when you led our great nation, I had nothing but disdain for you. I'm older now, a bit grayer, a father of two, working hard to do what's best for my family.
I remember feeling guilty after learning that you had passed on. I'd been so wrong about you, 180 degrees off the mark. But my impressions had already begun to shift based on my reading of your letters, and by Peter Schweizer's great book, "Reagan's War," and by wonderful memoirs from Peggy Noonan ("What I Saw at the Revolution") and Michael Deaver ("A Different Drummer").
I bought a round-trip bus ticket for Washington to attend the funeral, but the day conflicted with my son's graduation from pre-school, and I didn't want to miss that either. I remember asking myself, what would Reagan suggest? I could hear your reassuring voice -- go to your son's school, and that's what I did. I eventually almost gave this blog a different name -- What Would Reagan Do? -- but decided on Left Wing Escapee instead. I hope you like it.
Something I wanted to tell you had we met in person -- thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, sir, for restoring our glory.