To Live Or To Die
In early 1952 Ronald Reagan and Nancy moved into an old house on a small part of a 3 section ranch of the later famous Rancho del Cielo- that is what the sign said that day. I was there with my grandpa Frank Silva to help them anyway they needed it, at the asking of the owner of property who was letting them stay there. I rode with Ronald much as he was doing things to move- he said he was trying to get away from the Screen Actors Guild. He sold his home near Hollywood and his ranch in Malibu Canyon was put up for sale and he gave away his interest in an orchard business near Northridge. Him talking out loud about not sure what to do with his mother’s rocking chair got me to thinking about what he REALLY trying to do. Abandoning nearly all his clothes was a sign. Treating some of his best friends rudely was a sign. Finally Nancy was concerned- she said to me that she was scared about Ronald and herself! She said to me: “I do not
want to go!”. She had fear in her eyes at that moment. I had noticed that she had been shying away from him very much. I thought of a plan. It started with the storekeeper at the Solvang Market who had been a preacher. He understood the situation as I explained it to him and would speak with Ronald but Ronald had to want to. Not easy because Ronald
did not want to see anybody new and barely tolerated myself and Nancy. While driving near the Solvang Market I faked a leg cramp and said that I needed to walk the cramp out and could he pull into the parking lot,please! Knowing Ronald, he got out to stretch legs(only thing about his health he cared about any more). I pointed to the front of the market and
said “Go talk to the man in there”. As I said that I walked behind him and gave him the hardest kick in the butt this 5 year old kid could. He rubbed his butt and said “All right. All right”.
More than a hour later he came out looking and sounding like a new man- he wanted to live! Nancy gave him a great big hug and whispered to me: “What happened?”. I said “I gave him a GOOD kick”. From a friend.