To their Secret Service shadows they may be "POTUS" and "FLOTUS," but to each other out on their 688-acre California ranch he's still her "Ronnie" and she's still his "Nancy."
She's a slightly thinner Nancy since the assassination attempt on President Reagan two years ago. Now a size 4 rather than a size 6 and weighing 104 instead of 114 pounds, Nancy Reagan is having some of her clothes altered, according to Sheila Tate, her press secretary. But Tate denied that Mrs. Reagan's weight loss is because she is ill.
"She sees the doctor regularly and has been given a clean bill of health," said Tate, adding that the first lady continues to have non-cancerous "potential trouble spots" removed routinely and non-surgically from her skin "at her convenience."
In a statement released by the White House, the first lady said she didn't deny that she has lost some weight but that "it's been one personal worry on top of another." Besides the attempt on her husband's life, she said, the death of her father, Dr. Loyal Davis, a year ago affected her deeply.
While her face looks somewhat drawn, a picture spread in the October issue of Life magazine, taken last month on the Reagans' ranch, portrays her as relaxed and smiling in faded blue Calvins, an equally faded shirt, a slightly tattered straw hat and the blue and yellow Nikes given to her by son Ron on her 62nd birthday.
The rare photo tour of Rancho del Cielo by photographer Harry Benson shows the first lady riding an upholstered hobbyhorse and a real horse, gardening, and trying to trail her hand in their 100-foot-long man-made Lake Lucky as the president paddles their canoe.
"When I was little I thought that when somebody asked you to marry them, they took you out in a canoe and played the ukulele while you dragged your hand in the water," Mrs. Reagan told writer James A. Miller.
When they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, Reagan gave her the canoe, the TruLuv, and told her he didn't have a ukulele but he had a harmonica.
"I said, 'That'll do,' " said Mrs. Reagan.