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Visiting Tom Carr's Shares (account name: penpaint)
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Gosh, you say, what in the world is an "ELDERHOSTEL"?
 Well,it is a non-profit organization that offers nearly 8000 different educational  programs, usually 5 days in length, held at sites all around the world, on a huge variety of topics, that are designed for seniors. It originally started as summer programs held ON college campuses, with lectures by professors, with no tests, during the summer campus lull. The attendees stayed in the college dorms and ate at the college campuses.  It flourished, and the seniors wanted better accommodations, and more interesting locales, and it has expanded to cover the globe, on land, water and ice caps. Currently, more than 170,000 elders attend per year! You can find More at
Ventura is a delightful historic town located on the shore about 60 miles North of Los Angeles, California. It has this historic pier that is the longest in California. That high rise building there on the beach is the Crown Plaza Hotel,  where the Elderhostel was based.
During our free time we strolled into downtown Ventura, and here we are visiting the courtyard of historic  San Buena Ventura Mission.
Note the church tower in the background.
Marie at Mary's shrine in the courtyard.
Inside the mission church.
The view from the main street 
Once you arrive at the Elderhostel and register, everything is provided, including all meals.  A really nice by-product of these programs is the opportunity to meet a really nice group of people, and learn something about them.
And, of course, there are the lectures by the experts and academics. This professor recounted many stories about  Ron and Nancy, as a preparation to our upcoming visit to the library. We also had a speaker who talked about Air Force One, it's history , and the problems getting it to it's resting place at the library at the top of a large hill in the Simi Valley in California.
After breakfast on the big day, we all piled into the cute little bus and were driven about 30 miles to the library
This is the approach to the entrance.
This marvelous bronze statue of Reagan, in his favorite attire, sits at the entry.
The Lobby. The archives are in a wing to the left, and the museum is in a wing to the right.
The view of the statue from inside the lobby.
Our group was first taken into the Archives, where the head archivist gave us an overview of the history, contents, services, and status of the archiving of the millions of documents.

Next our group of 29 were divided into two groups, and a charming docent assigned to each group to guide us through the museum. This is a kitchen typical of the era when Ron was growing up.
Lots and lots of fascinating exhibits.
The president received thousands of gifts during his terms, and some are displayed here.  This lamp made of a clarinet caught my eye, since my daughter teaches clarinet performance.
See, I told you I liked it!!
Next, we were guided to a large annex, which was specifically designed to display Air Force One, which had been  used by 5 presidents to travel world wide. Reagan had mentioned the historical significance of the aircraft, and asked the Secretary of Defense if he could have it for his library after it was retired. Several years later, the arrangements were made, and the difficult problem of getting it here was started.
Since it is so large I had to take the photo in two separate pictures. Two planes are always configured for the presidents use. There were two propeller type transports first, and then after the 707 was introduced, the Air Force  configured two of them for presidential use. The tail numbers are 26000 and 27000. The plane is only designated "Air Force One" whenever the President is on board.
Aircraft numbers 26000 and 27000 are both the property of the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton Ohio. After lengthy negotiations, 27000 was transferred on loan to the Reagan Library. There were lots of strings attached, for example they could not cut anything to move it, it had to be mechanically disassembled rather than cut, and then reassembled using original parts.
We had a presentation yesterday at the hotel describing how it was flown to a storage hangar in San Bernardino on it's final flight. Big party enroute! It took about a year to develop the plans and raise the money. Then a special team of experts struggled to take it apart. After about 4 months, it was all ready and a big convoy of trailers wended across many LA freeways in the middle of the night. The final big challenge was pulling the huge fuselage up a long winding rode to Library at the top of a big hill in Simi Valey. It arrived at last at its final location about dawn. Then they built the building around it!
the next step for us was a wonderful tour of the inside of the plane. It was unchanged from its operational days, and very impressive --- but -- damn it, no photos are allowed!!!
The limousines are here with the original  plates.
And here is the Oval Office. Like most of the library, the lighting is low level, and no flashes are allowed. So al of these are hand held time exposures and somewhat fuzzy.
Marie said that that table with the lamp looks just like one that her mother had!
Later, on our free time,we came back to OVAL office , when there was no crowd.  I then shot these time exposures by resting the camera on the guard rail. They are a little sharper, but from a different view.
More of the fantastic gifts
we are heading to the grave site but stop to look at this real chunk of the famous Berlin Wall.
You are looking at the "free" side of the wall which is all decorated with grafitti. The other side of the wall is clean since  no one on the East German side could get near it because of all of the land mines, barbed wire, and guards.
This is about half of our group. We got to meet most of them because we mixed our seating at meals , and on the bus. A real feature of the Elderhostel is that just about everyone is there to meet and chat with new people.
This is where President Reagan is buried.
I can't read it - hope you can!
Lots of beautiful flowers.
Looking back at the Library. Ron had an office there on the second floor, and Nancy still does.
It was lunch time and the tour guide took us back to the annex where the cafeteria is located. It is really a three story building with the eating area on the first floor. Of course Air Force One hangs above all.
And here is the helicopter that was used to shuttle the President to Andrews AFB where the planes were kept. I think it was called "Marine One" whenever the President was on board.
Note the pillar supporting nose wheel -- who can miss it?
This is the view of some of the surrounding country. The Library has a big chunk of land on the top of this large hill - I think maybe about 75 or 100 acres. The whole area was vacant when Ron and Nancy helicoptered here to see what it looked like. They fell in love with it and picked it instead of Stanford as the location for the Library. It is stunning. Of course there are now some very expensive homes down at the bottom of the hill.
The whole North? wall of the annex is glass. The view from the ramp as you enter the front of the plane looks just like your are flying because of the  height.
The nose of the plane is facing the window wall.
There was a pub in Ireland that was owned by some local Reagans. It was donated to the Library and shipped here and reconstructed at the far side of the room.
 We are now on our own exploring where we wish.
This is a reconstruction of a dining table from the White House.
I heard some lady proclaim that she thought this was one of his best pictures, so I shot it.
This was display recreating  part of an area where Reagan did some repairs when he was at their ranch. The ranch was in the mountains about 50 miles North of Santa Barbara or about 80 north of here. There was a lecture about the Reagan's life on the Ranch, and they showed a one hour DVD that presented a visit to the Ranch by Huell Houser. The Ranch has been purchased by a non profit foundation that is preserving it as it was when the Reagans lived there. It will eventually be open to the public. The big problem is a really bad access road. Of course,  Reagan had a helicopter. This is another nice painting.
It is about time to get back on the bus.
We had free time when we got back to the Hotel, so we decided to walk out on pier pier. There is a great boardwalk (actually concrete) running along the beach.
Our Hotel, with old town Ventura in back.
Friendly -- or just bold?
It was a beautiful day.
And back we go for a rest, then a nice dinner with wine, and another program, which consisted primarily of showing one of Reagan's films that I think was entitled "Hellcats of the Navy". He played a submarine skipper in WW II. Nancy also had a part in it.
So, now you have had a brief taste of a short (three day) Elderhostel. It was our 15th spread over about 15 years. Several of the recent ones were to other Presidents' Libraries. Here  are some links to our photoblogs covering the Libraries/Homes.
Marie and I tried to come up with a rating, and decided that they were all unique and excellent, and we highly recommend seeing them. If someone put a gun to my head and said "choose the best", I guess I would have to say I liked the Truman  Library and Home - partly because I admire that man so much.
Would love to see the Ranch
2007   shows the LBJ Ranch, his boyhoood home as wellas the Library.
At site of childhood home in Yorba Linda, CA Grave and Library.
Franklin Roosevelt
His home and summer whitehouse at  Hyde Park, NY. Grave and simple Library
His parents home where he grew up and was sworn in. Located in the boonies in Vermont. No library.
Theodore Roosevelt
His home and summer whitehouse at Sagamore Hill on LOng Island, NY -No Library. No Library.

Creation date: Oct 21, 2007 8:51am     Last modified date: Jun 22, 2008 11:41am   Last visit date: Sep 18, 2020 11:10pm
6 / 1000 comments
Nov 1, 2007  ( 2 comments )  
Nov 2, 2007  ( 2 comments )  
Christina Roper (croper)
Fascinating Grandpa.  As always, I learned a lot from reading your photoblog!  Now I feel bad that I've been to Simi Valley a couple times to visit friends, but have not seen the library.  One of these days...
The Elderhostel seems like a great organization. 
Julie Carr (beekielou)
Love the inside picture of the church! Beautiful ocean shots, and loved the tour of Ronald Regan's museum, and to see where he is buried!
Nov 3, 2007  ( 2 comments )  
Kathy Carr (kathy)
Wow, what a tribute to a great President!  Reagan is one my favorite Presidents in my lifetime because of his role in bringing down Communism and his integrity in acting upon his beliefs.  I had no idea that Air Force One was at the library and that's cool they have a chunk of the Berlin Wall since Reagan had so much to do with bringing down the wall!
Richard Carr (richard)
Great photoblog!
Reagan sure was a great president!!  I'm glad they have a part of the Berlin Wall there!
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