Did you know?

The Patriot Post is funded 100% by its readers, avoiding the influence advertisers and special interest groups impose on other publications. Help us stay front and center in the fight for Liberty and support the 2020 Year-End Campaign.

Remembering Reagan - Frank Van Der Linden

Frank van der Linden

Veteran White House correspondent and Columnist and Author of The Real Reagan

My fondest memories of my friend, Ronald Reagan, are from the December day in 1980 when I had the privilege of flying with the President-elect from Washington to Los Angeles and he told me recollections of his childhood - stories he had never confided to anyone before.

This courageous statesman, who would build up America's defense forces and break the fearful power of the Soviet "evil empire," confessed to me that, as a little boy, he was afraid of the school bully.

Reagan recalled that when he was a third-grader, this bigger boy began beating him up every afternoon on the way home from school. "Boy, this bully would drive me home, day after day, and I'd be in tears," he said.

"One day, when I turned the corner and the bully was right there, having at me, I saw my mother standing there on our front steps."

"I thought, 'Oh, safety!'"

"But she said, 'You can't come in the house until you turn around and fight him.'"

"I was in tears, but she said, 'Go back, you're not coming in here until you fight!'"

"Oh, betrayed by my only friend!" I thought.

"So I turned around, waded in and threw a couple of punches, tears streaming down my face. To my surprise, the bully took off and ran, and that was the end of him. I learned a very good lesson."

Reagan also confessed to me that, as a little boy, he was afraid of the dark. "When they would send me to the store after dark, boy, that was an agonizing couple of blocks. I would usually be running like hell the last block home."

Ronald wondered why he had this fear, which his big brother, Moon, did not share. One day he found out the reason: While his family was out riding, he picked up his mother's reading glasses from the car seat and tried them on. Suddenly he discovered a world he had never known before. "For the first time, a tree wasn't just a green blob. I could actually see the leaves."

The truth was that he was afraid of the dark because he couldn't see. He was delighted to acquire some black-rimmed glasses of his own. "It was worth it," he told me, "even though some of the other kids called me 'Four Eyes.'"

Reagan also revealed why he had a mild case of claustrophobia. It began, he said, when he was riding with his family in an old Model T Ford and the car tipped over. Everyone else escaped, but he was pinned underneath.

"They fished me out from under the car," he said, but ever since, "I feel a certain amount of discomfort when I get too enclosed." When "the Gipper" would be in a general pile-up in a football game, he would make sure that he did not land on the bottom of the heap, so he couldn't be smothered under there.

These and many other anecdotes, which he shared with me during that flight to California, gave me priceless insights into the inner nature of the quiet, modest little boy who grew up to become the indomitable leader of the Free World.

Frank van der Linden

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2020 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.