I was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida when the Nixon/Ford change came about. I really do not want to spend too much time on this piece of history which affects me too much. I used to say we changed presidents as quickly as I changed car license plates...It was true at that time.
But briefly, a quick review of the times past in which I paid little attention to the ongoing drama in the White House which made stars out of some nobodies very quickly.
We had always been told at Gladstone when I was an English/Journalism teacher there that we might be teaching a president of the United States. Little did we know that maybe we really were.
I was then a member of the League of Women Voters who were introduced to me by a fellow faculty member, and through them, I learned some very interesting facts that were relayed to me. I held membership in some group organized for better government. But I was not politically involved in party politics, and frankly, did not give a hoot about politics at all. I was too busy working, doing my job, to pay much attention to the problems of government. We had gone through the Viet Nam War which took up a lot of interest but I just avoided politics as much as anyone could. So I never followed the Watergate debacle except to only be slightly aware that it was a thorn in someone's side.
So I do not intend to relive those days at this time since they were pretty emotionally difficult for me then as well. I had my own problems to solve. In 1970 I had flown back to Michigan to see my dad who had been diagnosed with cancer, and at that particular time, my brother's wife had just given birth to her firstborn son. I have always had a love/hate relationship with my dad so that the thought that he might die did prompt me to return to see him while he was still alive. He survived well enough after that, and it was then that I met my nephew for the first time as a newborn. He was an adorable baby and my brother and his wife were so happy and proud of him.
I returned then to California under great emotional stress, and then learned that one of my journalism students had gone beyond and over the top so that I had to stop the presses, kill a story, and get the newspaper back on the right track.
So I was stressed out, and I had just turned 31 years old then. Too young to be overworked, under loved, and underpaid. But so it goes. That is the state of affairs in that time period.
Nixon was clearly enjoying his term in office despite all the cries to get us out of Viet Nam. I paid him little attention. My concerns were the classes that I taught, the groups I sponsored, and the new apartment I had moved into.
That is a topic for a separate entry too because this had begun with the thought that Nixon bowed out and Ford rushed in. I was in Florida then, having left California behind, again a story for another entry.
But on the day that Ford became the new guy in the White House I was having my Cougar serviced in a garage. I came home from the service station to find the sheriff from New Jersey grilling food on the outdoor barbecue grill. I went over to talk to him to ask if I could use it with him which he willingly let me do. He was a very nice man from Asbury Park, NJ, whose wife was a deaf mute, and who was warm and friendly to me. I remember that so much as the day that Ford became the successor to Richard Nixon.
Support your local sheriff! I can't help but wonder at men who marry women who have physical handicaps. But he was a sweetheart to me. That was the year that Cannonade won the Kentucky Derby, the 100th running. Strange, isn't it, the things we remember from 1974. My second nephew was born only a few days later on the 21st. A long time ago! Weird how this story became one of remembering my nephew's births.
Now they both have their own families...
Both Richard Nixon and Jerry Ford are gone and nearly forgotten.
And while on the subject of presidents, I will add this onto this post for no particular reason except that I want to put it here. I learned that it was Douglas MacArthur who is the cause for the Purple Heart in modern times. I learned a bit about its history the other day which I had not known. I remember how Truman and MacArthur had a big battle. Now I have to reconsider everything that I think or have thought about both of them.
Life goes on. Gee, if ever we knew the truth about any of these political characters we might be slower to draw judgement calls and conclusions about them. It takes time to learn that we know only a little bit when so much more is to be known.