Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ford Memories

I've been watching some of the coverage of former president Gerald Ford's funeral and reflecting back on my own childhood experiences with the Fords.

In my tween years, my parents spent a week each summer in picturesque Vail, Colorado. Back then, during the off-season, it was still an affordable destination for a middle-class family.

We always stayed at a hotel in town, usually during the Jerry Ford Invitational Golf Tournament. It was a celebrity-studded event, and in that small town, I happened to meet Dinah Shore, watch my mama nearly swoon over Clint Eastwood, and try on sunglasses one afternoon with Betty Ford. I also remember playing with the Fords' dogs and at least once meeting the former president.

Under the heading of "small world," Gerald Ford and I also both studied at The Univeristy of Michigan. He earned his undergraduate degree there and played football. I'm a graduate of the law school.

As a tween, I didn't know them, Betty and Gerald Ford. Those were chance meetings. But I do recall that they were geniuinely kind to me, friendly and gracious.

Spooky Note

You can find out more about Gerald Ford via Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 1998). Learn more about picture book biographies at Anneographies.