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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

President Gerald Ford Has Died



Few men have been so unwanted, so ridiculed, so dismissed, as 38th US President Gerald Ford, whose death at the age of 93, has just been announced on 26 December 2006.

And so few men have lived such a charmed life, as this handsome, bluff, earnest gentleman from Michigan, the last surviving member of the equally ridiculed, Warren Commission.

He was the All-American Boy, if ever there was one.

Born to a humble, not to say poor background in Nebraska, but whose athletic skills and self-effacing personality won him the adulation of his school peers, male and female, the man whose birth name was Leslie Lynch King, Jr. soon left with his battered mother to start up life anew in Michigan, aged a mere 2 years.

Though he succeeded President Richard M. Nixon in the most trying hand-over of Executive power the United States had ever seen to date, and he served his country in the same way he lived it (without fanfare, in the good ole Midwestern manner), it's possible that becoming US President was not his finest hour.

That moment, he would one day relate to a presidential biographer, was when he was seated in a Grand Rapids movie theatre, when it was announced that he had been elected the Most Popular Student in his entire city.

Let's hope the echoes of those youthful cheers in that movie-theatre, sustained him during the SNL skits, the Watergate pardon hubbub, the sneers of Washingtonians more taken with style over character.

Life was not kind to Gerald Ford. But he made it despite everything ranged against him.

He was the American Dream. RIP.

11 Comments:

  • Eloquently expressed, Victoria, with Midwestern economy. I have often walked by Ford's old fraternity, which is quite an odd sight, a gothic, frightening thing in the middle of a bunch of modern commercial buildings, and wondered what goes on there...I've never even seen the inside in over 20 years here...

    Thanks again, and thank you for the kind words to me in your previous post. Never forget how grateful I am for both your wit and support.

    It's odd to now think of Carter as the 'oldest' (not in age, but furthest back in terms

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Dec 27, 03:25:00 am GMT-5  

  • Eloquently expressed, Victoria, with Midwestern economy.

    A wonderful compliment, that. :)

    I have often walked by Ford's old fraternity, which is quite an odd sight, a gothic, frightening thing in the middle of a bunch of modern commercial buildings, and wondered what goes on there...I've never even seen the inside in over 20 years here...

    Wait, what! I remember seeing a gothic-style building near the UM football stadium and thinking, how incongruous.

    Don't tell me that's the one??

    I know the late President was on athletic scholarship to Michigan, but I wonder, did he pay his fraternity fees himself? Or were they waived because even then, he was a catch to have around.

    A nonsensical fact, I know, to inquire about at this time.

    Thanks again, and thank you for the kind words to me in your previous post. Never forget how grateful I am for both your wit and support.

    Not at all, Ron. :)

    It's odd to now think of Carter as the 'oldest' (not in age, but furthest back in terms

    I was thinking of that!

    And considering that both Presidents Carter and Bush Sr. are EXTREMELY lucid, and healthy, they may well live a long time.

    The Pope too.

    80 is the new 60.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 27, 03:04:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Wait, what! I remember seeing a gothic-style building near the UM football stadium and thinking, how incongruous.

    Don't tell me that's the one??


    No that's an old mattress factory that refused to move!

    The other is a narrow, grim building set amidst a string of third world eateries...

    I know the late President was on athletic scholarship to Michigan, but I wonder, did he pay his fraternity fees himself? Or were they waived because even then, he was a catch to have around.

    A nonsensical fact, I know, to inquire about at this time.


    I have no idea! But they are sure showing a lot of oddball footage of him around here today...Your photo stresses that strong '30's look...

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Dec 27, 05:20:00 pm GMT-5  

  • When he was appointed by Nixon, I recall the Variety headline: "Dick parks Ford in 2nd slot."

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Dec 27, 05:24:00 pm GMT-5  

  • That Chevy Chase.

    I'll hand it to him, at least he has the balls to admit what so many in Hollywood don't.

    He said this about his infamous Gerry Ford skits on SNL:

    "He had never been elected period, so I never felt that he deserved to be there to begin with," the actor said about Ford, who died on Tuesday at age 93. "That was just the way I felt then as a young man and as a writer and a liberal."

    Not that we need to be told that "it's the politics stupid", that directs people to mock others ferociously, but sometimes, it's like taking a bath, to hear it.

    You feel clean afterwards.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 27, 06:07:00 pm GMT-5  

  • No that's an old mattress factory that refused to move!

    Hilarious. It looked like a church!

    The other is a narrow, grim building set amidst a string of third world eateries...

    Oh now, I like Vietnamese food*. Or did you mean Ivoirian?

    *Actually, I lie. Never had it. They say it's like Thai food though.

    I have no idea! But they are sure showing a lot of oddball footage of him around here today...

    I have been watching a bit, too, yes. On CNN, they are concentrating on the Elder Statesman angle, with all his protegés coming out to praise him.

    The thing that many people do not understand, especially people who are not Republicans, is that you do not have to have a person who hits it out of the ballpark, intellectually, to be a good leader.

    You just need to surround yourself with the best staff, and be a person of conviction with a strong hand to guide them.

    More on this, in a reply below.

    Your photo stresses that strong '30's look...

    Purposely.

    But then, I'm sure you and others realised I did that on purpose, already.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 27, 06:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • My condo porters are a rag-tag group of guys.

    Some, so sweet, and even deferential, in that South American way of "you boss, me worker" -- though I am unfailingly polite to them.

    But one is just...well, he puts my back up with his manner.

    He loves to sock it to me, in the jargon of the time of Ford's Presidency, about the US, the Catholic Church, Britain, etc.

    Worse, he seems to behave as if he hates the country which he is now working in, despite moving from his own homeland of Argentina, which could not provide him enough sustenance and safety to raise his family.

    So when I go downstairs to pick up my post, I greet him and engage him in banter (I did say I was polite).

    He smirks, when I mention President Ford's death, and says:

    "Ford was an idiot. He was not good enough to be a president of the great United States."

    (Of course, sneering when he elongated the word "greattttt")

    I am very sentimental when it comes to a person's passing, even someone I may not have liked, so I look at him and sock it back to him, good and hard.

    "You know, it strikes me that what South America needs are two or three dozen Gerald Fords.

    Maybe then, those countries wouldn't be led by crooks, liars and Harvard degreed intellectuals who just line their pockets for 5 years, and flee when caught.

    Better a Ford, than a Collor, a Fujimori or a De la Rua, anyday."


    I turned on my heel, and flounced up the stairs.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 27, 06:30:00 pm GMT-5  

  • You know, it strikes me that what South America needs are two or three dozen Gerald Fords.

    Maybe then, those countries wouldn't be led by crooks, liars and Harvard degreed intellectuals who just line their pockets for 5 years, and flee when caught.


    You flounce girl! While I still have my worries about America, I'm appalled by who chooses to criticize us over what! Germans who call us warmongers! Astonishing!

    I recall (poorly, I'll admit) the words of Chris Rock:

    "The best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the best basketball player is Chinese, the Germans won't go to war -- no wonder everything is screwed up!"

    By Blogger Ron, at Wed Dec 27, 08:02:00 pm GMT-5  

  • You flounce girl!

    I actually DID flounce, you know.

    My mother calls it my happy puppy walk. :)

    While I still have my worries about America,

    Good. That means you are a sincere person, who doesn't swallow everything your leaders tell you, even if you share their party.

    I'm appalled by who chooses to criticize us over what! Germans who call us warmongers! Astonishing!

    Heh. Of course, they will reply (as my mother does, sometimes, I admit...), along the lines of an old Spaniard saying.

    It goes like this:

    "The filth in my house doesn't excuse your dirt"

    Perhaps, but when it is so self-satisfied, you are so correct, Ron, in being amused by their newfound conscience.

    I recall (poorly, I'll admit) the words of Chris Rock:

    "The best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the best basketball player is Chinese, the Germans won't go to war -- no wonder everything is screwed up!"


    That is fantastic, because it's true.

    And here I'd like to note that at the Athens Olympics a white woman won the 100m dash, and a black girl for the first time, medalled in swimming.

    There is a God. And He's funny.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 27, 10:30:00 pm GMT-5  

  • It's a big deal here. One house he lived in is a couple blocks away from mine. The funeral will be held at a church a few more blocks from my house. My husband is working though his vacation to help plan the routing of the motorcade, making sure that roadwork will not interfere, etc. He will probably bring the kids to the viewing downtown at the museum....sad week.

    By Anonymous Jackie T., at Fri Dec 29, 07:44:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hey there Jackie. :)

    So, how was it? The service and eulogies were very moving, in D.C.

    (I did like your lady governor's "Welcome Home, Mr. Ford", though)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Jan 03, 06:14:00 pm GMT-5  

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