I have two tiny Ronald Reagan (search) stories, which have always amused me.

About the time Reagan became president, I was working for a Sacramento TV station with a grizzled old cameraman who had spent years covering him as governor.

He and the reporter and the assignment editor would occasionally dream up a story for the day that needed an interview with the governor.

This was way before cell phones and computers and way before the walls went up between reporters and governors.

My friend the cameraman and the reporter would drive over to the alley behind the governor's mansion, and stick their heads over the fence. Nancy would be in the backyard at the pool with the kids.

"Hey Mrs. Reagan," they would shout. "Is he in?"

"Yes," she'd say. "He's in the house. Go on in."

so they'd troop in the back gate, walk around the pool, go in the house — the governor's mansion — corner the governor and do an interview.

You can't do that anymore. Just try it with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (search).

The other story is from 1983 when the Queen of England was visiting California. She was to visit President Reagan at his mountain top ranch.

It was a terrible El Nino (search) year — horrible rainstorms pummeling the state — so the queen and Prince Philip had to pile into four-wheel-drive vehicles and head up a nasty mountain.

Creeks were roaring over the dirt road, and the vehicles carrying the queen were up to the doors in mud... but they got there.

It was a treacherous trip that day, and that was what was amusing to me. If somebody was going to get killed by that El Nino storm, it wasn’t going to be the President of the United States... so the queen went to the mountaintop and Reagan greeted her when she got there.

The queen was not amused.

That's My Word.

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