57°F
weather icon Clear

JACOBS: Remembering Nancy Reagan

I was sitting in the Tonopah Station lobby the other day when someone asked me about Nancy Reagan.

At age 94, the former first lady had died just a few hours before, causing people in Tonopah to reflect on her legacy.

Seeing all of the campaign buses along U.S. Highway 95 this year, I am still trying to figure out if she ever passed or stopped in Tonopah – maybe on one of Ronald Reagan’s campaign swings in 1976, 1980 or 1984.

The one thing that’s clear is that Nancy Reagan (I always called her “Mrs. Reagan” out of respect) was a fierce protector of her husband. She always was looking out for her husband, making sure that he was well-served. Former Reagan administration insiders Donald Regan and Edwin Meese are two people who come to mind when I recall Mrs. Reagan standing up to power.

Though Mrs. Reagan and the president left the White House 27 years ago, she was in my thoughts around this past Christmastime when my step-grandmother died at age 90. Mrs. Reagan always reminded me of my step-grandmother in their loyalty to their husbands and looking after their interests, the way both women dressed so fashionably, their class and elegance, to name just a few things. Coincidentally, both also were the second wives of their husbands.

My own grandma died at 53 of breast cancer. Fortunately for my grandpa, he met my future step-grandma, Marianne, a short time later. They were married 17 years before my grandpa died unexpectedly at age 74. When I wrote a condolence note to Marianne’s daughter this past December, one of the first things I mentioned was how much Marianne had always reminded me of Mrs. Reagan in all the best ways.

Just a day before Mrs. Reagan’s death, I was out in a Nye County store where I happened upon a distinguished man born in 1924. I started asking him about his life experiences. He mentioned that his first job was hauling manure on a farm. He ended his career as a mortgage banker.

He was very upbeat about life, but toward the end of our conversation, he became misty-eyed, mentioning that his wonderful wife had died in 2014 and that it remains devastating to this day.

Reading about Nancy Reagan’s death the next day, I thought back to that elderly Nye County man and the loss of his spouse.

Mrs. Reagan’s obituary noted that she had spoken to Vanity Fair magazine in 2009 about losing her husband of 52 years in 2004. “I miss Ronnie a lot, an awful lot,” she said. “People say it gets better. No, it does not.”

Many people can sympathize.

Contact reporter David Jacobs at djacobs@tonopahtimes.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Lady Muckers travel north for state title

The Tonopah High School softball team has qualified for the Nevada 1A softball state tournament after their huge performances in the regional tournament last week.

Tonopah students explore job opportunities

The University of Nevada Reno (UNR) Extension and Tonopah High School partnered to host a Career Day at Tonopah High School on Thursday, April 7. Employers and colleges around the county and state were represented by 75 professionals at 28 tables.

Battery company to stake 90 new claims north of Tonopah

It will expand the company’s Tonopah Flats Lithium Exploration Project in Big Smoky Valley, to a total of approximately 10,340 acres,.

This 3-sport Tonopah athlete also plays the ukulele

Jessica Callaway is member of Tonopah’s varsity volleyball, varsity basketball and varsity softball teams.

Tonopah could build new hospital

The consideration comes after Reno-based Renown Health moved out of town and was replaced by Las Vegas-based Central Nevada Regional Care at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The current facility is not up to codes.

Tonopah will build new $15.2M elementary near town high school

Tonopah will create a centralized learning campus for pre-k through 12-grade students by constructing a new elementary on 5.5 acres near the town’s high school.

Getting to Know: Antonio Bleasdell

Bleasdell was in fourth grade the first time he touched a basketball — his first experience was dribbling and shooting with a soccer ball at the park near his house.