Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Reagan Election of 1980: Personal recollections

How I miss the campaign of 1980, my last summer in Bloomington, Indiana. So many wonderful memories, at least until the end:

In the spring, my buddy Dave and I concluded that Reagan might just be a player at the GOP convention. We decided to take a chance and booked one of the few copies of "Bedtime for Bonzo". We would show it at the Indiana University auditorium in late July/early August as the biggest fundraiser ever for the Bloomington Film Society. The other members of the Film Society, the type of campus film group that shows obscure foreign language flicks to 30 people in dingy basements, were horrified. They accused us, much like Jack's mother, of throwing away the family fortune on a whim. Then Reagan's popularity soared, Dave and I appeared on local radio (wearing Dick Nixon and gorilla masks) to plug the event, and we had ourselves a goose that could lay golden eggs. In fact, we made enough money from the event to keep the Film Society in Goddard and Kurosawa for another 5 years!

Early that summer the Reagan campaign sent me a request for money, promising me a picture of the Gipper himself if I contributed. So I scooped 6 dollars worth of pennies into the stamped envelope, sealed it with duct tape and returned it to Reagan headquarters. I got my picture (fake autograph) and a stream of GOP mailings that lasted almost under Bush 41.

Sometime that summer, I read about the "Reagan for Shah"campaign. I contacted the folks in San Francisco and became the unoffical Indiana coordinator. Hoosiers just didn't get the humor....

Then, on the first Tuesday in November, I and 6 others in my precinct voted for John Anderson.

And on the first Wednesday in November, I vowed that I would not acknowledge the 1980 presidential election. And I didn't...for quite a years.

Those were the days!