Bits and Pieces

Monday, June 07, 2004

Foul Ball Reagan

I happened on a heartwarming story last night in an old Bill Bryson book. It told of a young Ronald Reagan when he was working as a sportscaster for WHO out of Des Moines, Iowa. The station couldn't afford to send Reagan on the road with the team, so he would broadcast the game 'live' back in Des Moines, making up the action as he went along. Every inning or two he would receive a telegraph to update him on the game.

You can imagine the scene. A young "Dutch" Reagan waxes lyrical about a beautiful balmy Texas evening from a tin shack outside Des Moines. One time, the telegraph didn't come through. Desperate to fill the time and keep up the illusion of a live game, Reagan had the team bat foul balls for over half an hour until the telegraph finally came through.

Whether you agreed with his politics or not, you've got to respect a guy who has such a way with words that he can bluff his way through half an hour of foul balls.

Everyone's coming up with posts about Reagan, so I thought I should probably direct you towards some people who actually remember his presidency and, you know, live in America. Here and here. Take your pick.
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