Gorbachevs Tour Ranch With Reagans : Visitors: The private gasoline pump catches the former Soviet leader’s eye. He is to speak and be honored today at the Presidential Library.

From Times Wire Services

Former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev toured Ronald Reagan’s mountain ranch Sunday and marveled that his onetime Cold War foe has a personal gasoline pump while fuel is in short supply in his own country.

Reagan, Gorbachev and their wives spent the day chatting about travels, horses and real estate prices and posing for photographers.

Gorbachev, on his first visit to the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union, shook his head in amazement when he was shown Reagan’s gasoline pump at the ranch in the mountains above this seaside resort.


“There are such long lines for gasoline in our country!” Gorbachev’s wife, Raisa, said.

Gorbachev, on the second day of a two-week U.S. tour, was taken for a spin around the 688-acre Rancho del Cielo in a Jeep bearing the license plate GIPPER. Both men wore cowboy hats as Reagan wheeled around, shifting gears with one hand and waving with the other.

The Reagans and Gorbachevs also took a one-hour walk around the ranch and admired its views of the Pacific Ocean.

Gorbachev gave Reagan an 1882 book of Russian proverbs; the Reagans gave the Gorbachevs Stetson hats.

“I’m very happy they’re here,” Reagan said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

Gorbachev is to speak today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, and he is to receive the first Ronald Reagan Freedom Award.

The tour is intended to promote Gorbachev’s message about a new world order. Tour organizers said they also hoped that speaking fees and other arrangements would raise $3 million to support Gorbachev’s new think tank, the Moscow Foundation, and its U.S. affiliate, the Gorbachev Foundation.