House Church Talk - On the high-tech trail with Rawhide and Rainbow

David Anderson david at
Thu Jun 10 22:40:16 EDT 2004

>hmmmm.....I didn't realize Ronnie had been accused of not being a regular
>churchgoer.  Now, that's interesting.  You mean he didn't walk out of church
>each Sunday with a Bible tucked under his arm like Clinton did?

Do I detect a little sarcasm in your words, Janet? LOL. I am still 
waiting in line to download your new song, btw. We scrapped our second 
phone line. The various taxes were more than the service... Anyway:

Reagan's steadfast belief in God was a favorite subject on his rides with 
Barletta. "He is a strong Christian," says Barletta, who protected Reagan 
for 17 years before retiring. "He felt very blessed. He also loved going 
to church, but on the couple of occasions when we organized it, the 
presidential security measures--blocking off streets, clearing 
surrounding buildings, doing background checks--paralyzed the city of 
Santa Barbara, so he stopped. He called the ranch his 'cathedral in the 
sky.' 'This is where I'll worship from now on,' he said."


Barletta always rode next to the President (whose Secret Service code 
name was "Rawhide"); behind them, Mrs. Reagan (code name "Rainbow") and 
another agent. Following them was a custom-made Hummer (code name 
"Halfback"), built exclusively to handle the rough terrain of the ranch. 
Inside were four to six agents carrying heavy weapons, regular and 
satellite phones, emergency medical equipment and, of course, the 
"football," the code name for a briefcase containing nuclear missile 
launch codes.

Every effort was made to preserve a sense of serenity for the President 
while also employing the vast array of high-tech security and 
communication devices that are now a standard part of the office. Trees 
were planted around the command posts where agents, snipers, Seabees, and 
other military personnel lived and worked. Taking a tip from Disneyland, 
fake boulders were ordered from the Disney company to hide sophisticated 
motion detectors, electrical wires, and sensors. Trail numbers were 
carved into rocks located along the riding paths to track the president's 
position moment-by-moment on a photographic map shot from space by the 
Air Force.

Each ride ended with Reagan jumping off his horse and going to help his 
wife off her horse, then giving her a kiss and a hug. Woe to the 
overzealous agent who might try to help the First Lady off her horse 
before the President got to her.

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