The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


March 16, 2010

Lawmaker receives special gift

GREENVILLE — Two pillows that resided on Air Force One during the Reagan administration will soon find a new home at the Texas State Capitol Building in Austin.

During Ronald Reagan’s second term as President, Dale Zolnai, also known as Cowboy Dale, was working in Dallas with the Department of Defense Agency.

“In early 1984 I was asked by government persons if I would like to help with security, working with Secret Service at Love Field in Dallas when President Reagan’s plane arrived,” said Zolnai. “So, on special assignment with White House Advanced Secret Service Agents, I was honored to meet President Reagan and his staff for the first time. This relationship would last for several years.”

Not only did Zolnai get the honor of meeting Reagan, one of his all-time favorite presidents, he also was given another honor. An honor that he could take with him in the form of two very special pillows that flew on Air Force One during the Reagan Administration.

“They were given to me by Reagan’s Press Secretary at Love Field, but since I’ve retired I’m giving a lot of my Air Force memorabilia away,” said Zolnai. “I don’t really want to keep it in the family and I don’t want them to go to waste. I want to give it to someone who will appreciate it.”

State Representative Dan Flynn is one such person.

“Ronald Reagan is one of the reasons I ran for public office,” said Flynn. “This will be an incredible addition to my collection. Something I can share with my grandchildren and constituents that walk into my office. They’re definitely going to find a home at the Capital.”


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