Checking in from King City, CA…
Before leaving the Los Angeles area, we had the opportunity to visit two of the premier attractions of not only Southern California but of the nation—the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
The Getty Museum is rated as the number one attraction in Los Angeles. This magnificent art museum is housed in a stunning architectural facility on a high bluff above the 405 (Interstate 405) with a great view of the LA basin. It has the distinction of being the richest museum in the world, having been originally endowed by Paul Getty to the tune of $1.2 billion. Its collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present includes works by such masters as Titian, Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Gauguin. The museum attracts over 1.3 million visitors annually. We were shocked at how up- close-and-personal we could get to the priceless artworks. Unfortunately, the Getty is so massive that we got to see less than half of the exhibits on our visit. If visiting LA, don’t miss the Getty and allow two days to complete your tour.
It was a personal thrill to visit the Reagan Library on a hilltop in nearby Simi Valley. In my opinion, President Reagan was the greatest President in my lifetime and one of the two or three greatest of all time. The life of “Dutch” Reagan is artfully presented from his childhood in Illinois, his college time at Eureka College, his experiences as a radio sports announcer, his diverse acting career, his tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild, his time as the spokesman for General Electric, his governorship of California and his monumental performance as the 40th President of the United States. Utilizing numerous films of Reagan’s speeches, it is clear why he was known as the “Great Communicator.” In a quiet voice but with impeccable timing, he inspired Americans with strong values and a spirit of optimism and determination. Thirty years after these speeches were delivered, I was moved by his words and infected with pride to be an American.
The library holds more than 40,000 artifacts and has some magnificent exhibits—Air Force One that was used during Reagan’s presidency; an actual piece of the Berlin wall; and, an exact replica of the Oval Office. The most inspirational part of the library, however, is President Reagan’s tomb and memorial on which is inscribed these words: “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
When visiting Los Angeles, you should consider skipping the cheesy tourist attractions and visit the world class Getty and Reagan Library.