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Chapter 8
Alternate Lives

Lives Unlived - Ronald Winston Smith Reagan

Army brat, peace activist, economist, father, husband. Born December 25, 2058 in Reaganville, North Dakota. Died December 25, 2099 in New Reagan, New Reagan, at the age of 41, under suspicious circumstances.

Most of us, perhaps, are victims of our lives, but, once in a while, you find somebody who transcends his circumstances to live a life you could not have predicted. Ronald Winston (Ron Winnie) Smith Reagan was one of them.

When Ron Winnie was growing up, his family moved from army base to army base as his father, a military dentist, was transferred hither and yon. Fort Reagan, Texas, Fort Reagan, Alabama, The Reagan Institute for Military Strategy - Ron Winnie lived in all of them, and many others. But, where most of the children he met would turn to drinking or violent behaviour to cope with the emptiness of their lives, Ron Winnie became an avid reader.

I met him when we were both undergraduates at the New School for Ronald Reagan Research. Ron Winnie would go on to get a degree in philosophy; I remember long talks into the night about how the intellectual belief in the equality of all persons seemed to clash with our emotional need to believe in superior beings. It didn't take me long to realize that Ron Winnie was one of the truly good people, and the day he proposed marriage to me was the happiest of my life.

Although he would always have a fondness for philosophy, Ron Winnie was eager to study something that could have a more immediate impact on the world. He went to Ronald Reagan College (what was once, I believe, called Harvard) to get an MBA, then to the London School of Economics for a PhD in economics.

Living outside the United States of Reagan really changed Ron Winnie. We all knew that there was a world that didn't worship one man the way we did, but it was something else to actually spend time in that world. Just meeting people who - incredibly! - had never heard of Ronald Reagan really opened Ron Winnie's eyes to possibilities that had not been possible while we lived in the USR.

When we returned home, Ron Winnie took up a teaching position at Ronald Reagan College (or, could it have been Stamford?). He was, by all accounts, a good teacher who instilled a sense of economic and social justice in his students. However, his passion had turned towards issues of peace and international relations.

When the Strategic Defence Thingie, our space-based laser system, went haywire and destroyed half of Ottawa, including the Parliament buildings, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and most of the government, Ron Winnie led the protests against it. When, to cover its mistake, the USR declared Canada a hostile nation and, in the absence of its government, invaded the country, Ron Winnie was beside himself. He traveled frequently to Reaganville, DC to protest the unprovoked attack, and even spent some time at United Nations headquarters in New Reagan, New Reagan to see if the organization could do something to stop the senseless military adventure.

Ron Willie's advocacy on behalf of Canada made him many enemies, both within the government and within the academy. We would often come home to obscene messages in our voice mail - and, these were just from other faculty members! To his credit, Ron Winnie ignored these ominous threats and continued with his work.

Soon after Ron Winnie was denied tenure, he disappeared. His critics said he must have killed himself in despair over his stalled academic career, but I knew better: he had all but given up on it to devote as much of his time as he could on the peace movement. Just the afternoon before he disappeared, he was talking about putting together a flash mob to protest the annexation of Canada to the USR. When a jogger found his body in Central Reagan Park a few days later, I knew it couldn't be suicide.

I just know it.

Sometimes, when he was paying for a meal or a package of freedom smokes, Ron Winnie would look at the wrinkled old face on the bills and shake his head sadly. The last words he ever said to me were: "Ronnie Margaret, who exactly was Ronald Reagan, and why is he so damn important?" I wish had an answer for him.

Ronnie Margaret Milsop Reagan

Ronnie Margaret Milsop Reagan was Ronald Winston Smith Reagan's devoted wife.

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