As is the norm, when the "Young Miss Lovely" is off to what ever clothes shop she needs at the moment, I spend an hour or two at the local Barnes and Noble bookstore. Last Sunday was no exception. I found at least a dozen books I'd like to have but settled on one: "The Reagan Diaries," edited by Douglas Brinkley. It was on one of the store's 'cheap' tables; I paid but $5.98, originally priced at $19.99. This book received glowing reviews from such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Los Angeles Magazine, The Oklahoman, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Times [of London] Literary Supplement, and The Washington Post, among others.
Most entries in this book are correct and complete quotes from the original diaries, others are in brackets ( "[-]") which indicate they are the editor's summaries of less important information. So far, I'm through page 27 and already I've found about a dozen entries worthy of quote, like:
"Monday, March 30 My day to address the Bldg. & Const. Trades Nat. Conf. A.F.L.-C.I.O. at the Hilton Ballroom-2 P.M. Was all dressed to go & for some reason at the last min. took off my really good wrist watch & wore an older one.This was written in President Reagan's own hand after the assassination attempt. "Ronaldus-Magnus" was one of only two or three presidents who kept diaries throughout their administrations. I'll try to do other quotes as time goes on....
Left the hotel at the usual side entrance and headed for the car--suddenly there was a burst of gun fire from the left. S.S. Agent pushed me onto the floor of the car & jumped on top. I felt a blow in my upper back that was unbelievably painful. I was sure he'd broken my rib. The car took off. I sat up on the edge of the seat almost paralyzed by pain. Then I began coughing up blood which made both of us think--yes I had a broken rib & it had punctured a lung. He switched orders from W.H. to Geo. Wash. U. Hosp.
By the time we arrived I was having great trouble getting enough air. We did not know that Tim McCarthy (S.S.) had been shot in the chest, Jim Brady in the Head & a policeman Tom Delahanty in the neck.
I walked into the emergency room and was hoisted onto a cart where I was stripped of my closthes. It was then we learned I'd been shot & had a bullet in my lung.
Gettin shot hurts. Still my fear was growing because no matter how hard I tried to breathe it seemed I was getting less & less air. I focused on that tiled ceiling and prayed. But I realized I couldn't ask for Gods help while at the same time I felt hatred for the mixed up young man who had shot me. Isn't that the meaning of the lost sheep? We are all Gods children & therefore equally beloved by him. I began to pray for his soul and that he would find his way back to the fold.
I opened my eyes once to find Nancy there. I pray I'll never face a day when she isn't there. Of all the ways God has blessed me giving her to mie is the greatest and beyond anything I can ever hope to deserve.
All the kids arrived and the hours ran together in a blur during which I was operated on. I know it's going to be a long recovery but there has been such anoutpouring of love from all over.
The days of therapy, transfusion, intravenous etc. have gone by--now it is Sat. April 11 and this morning I left the hospital and am here at the W.H. with Nancy & Patti. The treatment, the warmth, the skill of those at G.W. has been magnificent but it's great to be here at home.
Whatever happens now I owe my life to Go and will try to serve him in every way I can."