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Nancy Reagan: First Lady of Sacramento’s 45th Street

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SACRAMENTO --

Former First Lady of the United States, Nancy Reagan has died at the age of 94.

Many Sacramentans, who remembered her time as the first lady of California during her husband Ronald Reagan's governorship, shared their memories of her.

Nancy is remembered as a model first lady of the United States, involved in many causes, like the "Just Say No" campaigns and Alzheimer's awareness.

"She's always been involved in lots of positive things. And my hat off to her for that," Karolyn W. Simon said.

Karolyn Simon has lived in East Sacramento since Nancy Reagan was the first lady of California.

The Reagans lived right across from her home on 45th Street. She remembers Mrs. Reagan as a quiet but respectful lady.

"Couple of times a year, she'd have a big party. And we'd get a little hand-written note saying they were having a party on such and such a day," Simon said.

One of the perks of being neighbors with the governor was peace of mind.

"We felt very safe. I mean, there were guards hidden away everywhere," Simon said.

Ken LaGrande is much newer to 45th Street but is always asked about the Reagan legacy.

He said while her husband was governing the entire state, Mrs. Reagan was said to have left her stamp on the Fabulous 40s neighborhood.

"Right at the end of the circular driveway was a guard shack where the guard for the governor would stand on sentry duty. And on Halloween, Nancy would give him a bowl of candy to hand out, with the governor's emblem on it, and it became very popular for residents of Sacramento. The word got around, drive over to 45th Street and pick up a piece of candy with the governor's emblem on it!" LaGrande said.

Still to this day, thousands of costumed kids go to the Fab 40s on Halloween. It has become one of Sacramento's best trick-or-treating neighborhoods.

"We continue to give to the community of Sacramento. It's a point of pride for East Sacramento," LaGrande said.

While Nancy Reagan may be remembered by most as the first lady of the United States, locals said she will always be a legend in East Sacramento.

"She was the first lady of California, first lady of our country... oh and the first lady of 45th Street," LaGrande said.

The Halloween decorations in the Fab 40s neighborhood have spread to the Christmas season as well. The area is also known for their ornate lighting display, and it all started with Nancy Reagan.