I just returned from hearing Athena Peggy Noonan speak at the temple of her spiritual father Reagan Library. Due to traffic, I missed the book signing, so I did not come close to the divine presence have the chance to shake her hand, but after her talk (about which more anon), I did get to ask the first question.
But, before I did, I acknowledged another divine presence great woman in the room, the lady who has no mythological counterpart because, well, no Olympian loved her husband the way Nancy Reagan loved the Gipper. After John Heubusch, the new Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, called on me, I rose, apologized to Miss Noonan for first addressing the former First Lady.
And while I could not see Mrs. Reagan when I spoke, I told her that I had worn a red tie in her honor (it is her favorite color) and then said, “Thank you for making him great.” It’s what I’ve have always wanted to say to the former Nancy Davis. Ronald Wilson Reagan had always been a good man. It took a woman, the love of his life, to make him great.
Peggy said as much in her speech; “there was,” she said, “no him without her. She was the stable platform from which . . . his midlife career was launched.”
And just as Ronald Reagan needed Nancy to become the great man, the great president, that he became in the second half of his life, so too did the Greek heroes need the guidance of a woman, in their case, the goddess Athena to achieve success in their endeavors.
So, I began my question to Peggy Noonan by introducing myself as “the blogger who compared you to Athena.” She had not alas previously heard this reference, but before addressing my query, offered, “I’ve never been compared to the goddess Athena. Thank you.”
And when she concluded her response, she thanked me again. It more that made up for being caught in traffic and losing the opportunity to have her sign the books I had brought along just for that occasion.