October 16, 2003


Notes From a Friend in High Places: Reagan Let Boy Into His World (Sylvia Moreno, October 12, 2003, Washington Post)

Rudy Hines was born and raised in Southeast Washington and hasn't ventured far afield. He lives a half-mile from where he grew up, and he works two part-time jobs in his neighborhood, at a store catty-corner from the elementary school he attended and at a soul food lounge about two blocks away.

But it was here, as a child in Congress Heights, that Rudy got a view of high-level diplomacy, national politics and international history -- and a bit of grandfatherly counsel. Rudy was President Ronald Reagan's official pen pal for almost five years, and some of their correspondence is included in the just-published "Reagan: A Life in Letters." [...]

Hines became the president's pen pal in March 1984 when Reagan visited Congress Heights Elementary, since renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. The White House had decided to adopt the school in 1983 as part of the National Partnerships in Education program. Students got special privileges, such as visiting Air Force One, the Rose Garden and the Roosevelt Room in the White House. In March 1984, Reagan visited Congress Heights Elementary to announce a new twist.

"There has to be some kind of personal relationship when you're doing this," Reagan told the children and teachers. "I want to have a student from here be a pen pal, and we'll exchange letters."

That student was Hines, chosen by Principal William Dalton for his reading and writing skills. "He was a low-key, very intelligent kid," said Dalton, who retired as principal in 1990. "He was just a normal child who happened to learn the skills we were trying to teach." Also, Hines lived across the street from Congress Heights Elementary with his mother, Stephanie Lee, who was willing to become an active participant in the relationship. Rudy's father, Chett Hines, also lived close by and was very involved in his son's life.

Now living in Lorton and working as a nurse in the admissions testing center of Washington Hospital Center, Lee has preserved the more than 175 Reagan
letters and photographs -- as well as a $50 check from his personal checking account in Beverly Hills that Reagan sent to Rudy as a Christmas present in 1985. And there are the White House photographs from the September 1984 visit the Reagans made to Lee's one-bedroom apartment in Southeast, where Rudy lived.

The White House contacted Lee and asked her to host the president and first lady for dinner and to keep it a surprise for Rudy. Rudy had invited the Reagans for dinner, writing: "You have to let us know in advance so my mom can pick up the laundry off the floor."

When the Reagans arrived, they asked to eat just like Rudy and his mom would have, Lee recalled, and they did. A photograph shows the Reagans sitting on the sofa across from the television, eating homemade fried chicken, wild rice and salad off of TV trays. In a statement last week, Nancy Reagan remembered that night as "a wonderful evening."

The Reagans also brought a present for Rudy, some of his classmates and the school principal: front-row tickets for a Michael Jackson concert at RFK Stadium scheduled for that night.

"I want to thank you for the visit to my house and the jar of jelly beans," Rudy wrote to Reagan. "The Michael Jackson concert was great! Tell Mrs. Reagan I think she would have jumped when they shot off the fireworks. She would have liked Michael Jackson's singing too. I enjoyed the show."

Seven months later, Reagan invited Rudy and several hundred schoolmates to "The Greatest Show On Earth," seating his pen pal next to him and giving him the whistle he used as honorary ringmaster of the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus. Rudy got a special invitation to attend Reagan's second inauguration in 1985 but couldn't attend because cold weather forced the ceremony into the Capitol Rotunda, where there was little room for spectators.

Lee keeps the scrapbooks with all the Reagan mementos in a bank safety deposit box and said neither she nor her son plans to cash in on the collection.

"The fact we never capitalized on [the relationship or letters], I think that's what made it work," Lee said. "That relationship was quite wonderful: an old white guy talking to a young black kid as a pen pal. That was a rare event . . . and something that kids don't do anymore. . . . It's a perfect example of the way the world should act."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 16, 2003 10:26 PM

Enlarge your penis now click here: Penis Enlargement

Posted by: Penis Enlargement at December 23, 2003 3:58 PM