I guess everyone knows President Ford died last night at theÂ age of 93. Everyone seems to be blogging aboutÂ his presidency this morning like Captain’s Quarters, Flopping Aces, Michelle Malkin, etc. So I thought to take the time to pay my own respects.
President Ford is the only Republican President that I haven’t voted for, since, to myÂ endless shame, I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976 when I was 21. I saw him in person once from afar. When I was a brand-spanking-new private fresh out of jump school, my company, B Co. 1/75th Infantry was selected to march in the 200th Birthday of the Army celebration at Fort Benning, GA on June 14, 1975. We were training at Fort Bragg, NC and jerked out of the field, issued new camoflage uniforms and loaded into aircraft at Pope AFB and kicked out over Friar Field. Watching his brand new Ranger Battalion jump was President Ford. The next day, spit-polished we passed while he reviewed the newly-minted elite unit.
In my bookcase, I have forty-or-so first edition, signed books that I’ve collected over the years by various authors that range from fiction authors to Presidents. In fact, I have at least one book by every Republican President since Mr. Nixon.Â Among them is a signed copy of Mr. Ford’s “Humor and the Presidency” – I spent a lot of money on that one in an auction because to me, it embodied Mr. Ford. Since the book will last alot longer than I will, I wanted whoever gets my collection eventually knows that President Ford, despite everything that he faced in his short, accidentalÂ tenure, he was still able to laugh at himself, and laugh with everyone around him.
God bless you, President Ford.