Temecula, California: Ronald Reagan Can-Do Statue

Bronze statue of a smiling Ronald Reagan recalls his speech in 1983 praising the town's community sports park, which was built without government funding.
Address:
Rancho Vista Rd, Temecula, CA
Directions:
I-15 exit 59. Drive east on Rancho California Rd, then make the first right onto Ynez Rd. Drive a half-mile, turn left onto Rancho Vista Rd. Drive one mile. You'll see baseball fields on the right. Turn right into the parking lot. The statue is next to the parking lot, beside the flagpole and snack bar.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Ronald Reagan Can-Do statue. Ronald Reagan Can-Do Statue

With his cowboy hat in one hand and a shovel in the other, bronze Ronald Reagan looks like he's ready to dig in and help the people of Temecula build their sports park. In fact, he did no such thing -- but what he did do was to praise the town's efforts in a 1983 speech as an example of "traditional Americanism" (By this he meant that the sports park would be built with no government money). When Reagan died in 2004, Temecula's mayor Mike Naggar -- a big Reagan fan -- suggested naming the park after the former President, which was unanimously approved by the City Council. Naggar also proposed a "Can-Do Monument," featuring a statue of Reagan.

It might have been easy to find funding for that in some socialist government larder, extracting cash from the tax-paying part of the community. Instead, it took seven years for a non-profit to raise the money through donations. It still wasn't quite enough, but with the economy in tatters (but the free market still breathing) sculptor Chris Pardell slashed his price, and the statue was unveiled in May 2012.

Update: Someone set fire to the statue on September 20, 2013, obviously unaware of Reagan's reputation as "The Teflon President." Reagan survived, charred but still standing.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 05/27/2012]
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