Accordion

Ojai, a beautiful town not far from the Santa Ynez mountains where President and Mrs. Reagan’s retreat, Rancho del Cielo, was located, was home to a talented musician named Frank Umbro. Mr. Umbro used to visit the Ranch to play his accordion for birthday parties and campaign fundraisers. Mrs. Reagan often requested “Somewhere My Love” from the movie Dr. Zhivago and President Reagan often requested “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”.

Mr. Umbro actually started playing for Governor Reagan back in 1967 and performed at the Ranch for 16 years. In a 2004 interview, Frank said, “We used to go there every two, three months. We’d play Spanish music one time, swing music another, but always the Notre Dame fight song. That would bring a smile to his face.”

Mr. Umbro donated the accordion to the Reagan Library in 1991. This accordion, made in the 1930s, has a special French tone as well as the standard accordion range. It is inlaid with art deco motifs and was made in Italy. It has “Frank” inlaid in mother of pearl.

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