NOFD investigating partial building collapse in French Quarter

President Ronald Reagan Memorabilia Man

Jay Connaughton wasn’t even old enough to vote for President Ronald Reagan, but the 40th U.S. President certainly made an impression.

“President Reagan did so much for the country.  He accomplished so much in the time he served.  He really touched a lot of people’s hearts.  He was from a different era,” Connaughton said.

Connaughton’s admiration for President Reagan can be seen in all the memorabilia he’s been collecting for the last 12 years.

From cuff links to Inauguration signs, stickers, stamps, posters, and even records.

“This is one of my favorite pieces.  Reagan would actually send out a record.  On the record you could listen to his speeches and really hear what he believed in,” he said.

Connaughton owns Innovative, an advertising firm in Mandeville.  His co-workers don’t always understand his Reagan obsession.

“A lot of the staff thinks my collection is pretty neat, but others just want the junk out of the way.  My wife doesn’t even know all the stuff that we’ve collectively bought,”  he said.

Connaughton plans on framing most of his collectibles and putting them all in a special ‘Reagan Room’ in his family’s new home.  Connaughton said it’s interesting how Reagan has impacted his family in many ways.

“Reagan’s been an odd part of our lives.  My wife and I set our wedding date on his birthday, and we found out our first child was going to be born while we were at Reagan’s funeral.”

Connaughton never got the chance to actually meet the President.  He believes Regan’s legacy can still be felt.

“If I got the chance to speak with him, I’d say, Thank you Mr. President.  You brought people together when they were divided and you always did it with a smile.”

A little known fact:  The largest Ronald Reagan statue in the world is in Covington, Louisiana.  It’s 10-feet tall.