I'll do this only once every 25 years, I promise, but I thought my friends here at Ricochet might enjoy seeing this page from the notebook I used when I visited Berlin in April 1987 to research the President's speech. The page shows notes I took at the dinner party that two West Berliners, Dieter and Ingeborg Elz, hosted for me.
Take a look at note 17, in which I scribbled down a comment by Ingeborg--the comment that, back at the White House, I adapted, making it the central line of President Reagan's address. Somehow, it has always seemed fitting that the inspiration for "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," came from a Berliner--as it happened, a lovely, gracious Berliner, who had become, when she spoke of the wall, suddenly angry.
Yesterday, by the way, I gave the Elzes a call to say hello. Now in their eighties, they were about to leave Berlin for three weeks of hiking in the mountains in Austria--"slow hiking," as Dieter explained, chuckling.
(For a more detailed view, click here.)