"Ronald Reagan was coming to Spokane to campaign for the senator of Washington state who was running for re-election," says Stephanie Smith, local resident.
Stephanie Smith was just finishing up her senior year at Washington State University back in 1986, a year that she says she'll never forget. That's because, thanks to a college friend, Smith was able to meet one of our country's most influential leaders, Ronald Reagan.
"The secret service came and took my purse away from me and again I thought great, the president is going to walk by, but next thing I knew, he was coming down and shaking hands," says Smith.
Including her hand, a moment in time that she says left her speechless.
"I didn't know what to say but he was extremely friendly and he asked me my name, where I went to school, and what I was studying," she says.
Smith says Reagan was just as gracious and genuine as she imagined. Almost 30 years later, she looks at her meeting the former president as a key point in her young adult life.
"I was in college, I was making decisions about what I was going to do and Ronald Reagan's presidency had affected me and the world I was going out into," she adds.
Smith says she was saddened by Reagan's passing, but is grateful for the opportunity and the life changing experience.
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