Friday, November 28, 2008

Ronald Reagan and Jerry Parr

Ronald Reagan made some fine films- "King's Row" and "Knute Rockne, All-American"- some that were...not so much. Reagan once said that perhaps the worst film he ever made was one in 1939 called "The Code of the Secret Service" in which he played Secret Service agent "Brass" Bancroft. The film did not get any Oscar nominations.

However, it did make a *big* hit with a grade school boy named Jerry Parr, who not only loved the film- he begged his father to take him to see it again and again- but the young fellow decided that when he grew up, he wanted to become a Secret Service agent- just like good ol' Brass Bancroft. Wonder of wonders, that is exactly what he did. What is far more extraordinary is that Jerry Page was head of the Presidential Security detail on the afternoon of March 30, 1981, and was standing next to President Reagan when John Hinckley shot the President. It was Agent Parr who shoved the President into the limosine, and ordered it to take the President directly to the hospital. That quick thinking almost certainly saved Reagan's life.

I think it is fair to say that the Agent's conduct that day was well above Parr.

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