Farewell to Nancy Reagan: Public gathers to pay respects – Los Angeles Times

The sun bore down on a massive parking lot in Simi Valley just before noon, baking the asphalt.

Under a white tent, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people stood — shaded and excited — like children in line at an amusement park.

Some, such as Warren Weston and Lelia Lee, had been waiting for hours to board a white bus that would shuttle people to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Today marked their chance to pay their respects to Nancy Reagan, and Weston and Lee had arrived at 9 a.m.

Now they were first in line.

“It’s a tribute to a bygone era, back when both parties would get along,” said Weston, 67, of Oxnard. 

The Reagans, he said, “represented the best of America.”

Weston and Lee got married in 2001 but were together years before that. The couple said they see parallels between their marriage and that of the Reagans.

“She cared about her husband,” Lee, 60, said of Nancy Reagan as she adjusted her big black sun hat.

As they boarded the bus, an official counted: “4, 5, 6…” The line, which stretched at least a city block, inched ahead in a ripple.

There were men in full suits, and women in high heels, but also a boy in a Boy Scout uniform and people in shorts clutching cups of soda.

“We love her,” said Linda Finley, who had come from Texas with plans to see the library anyway.

“She’s an icon,” Finley said. 

Minutes later, the bus’ hazard lights clicked on and it slowly rolled away. 


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