Ford's Personal Connection

By: Nick LaFave Email
By: Nick LaFave Email

Don Southwall is a Vietnam Vet who took time to hang US and Michigan State flags for the late President Ford's funeral procession. Southwall remembers when he received his Silver Star. Then Congressman Ford sent him a letter of congratulations. Southwall still has that letter.

Down the street, 40 girls scouts from Troop 147 out of Grand Rapids are waiting to see the procession. They take part in a program on Mackinac Island every year. That program was started more than 50 years ago by an Eagle Scout who would one day become our nation's 38th President... Gerald Ford.

Tammy VanPutten is making sure her two kids get to see the procession. Their great-grandfather knew Ford personally. VanPutten says her grandfather never thought Ford could become president. He said Ford was too "honest for the job."

And, Gwen Bult's father was a local politician when Ford was in the US House. She says he received Christmas cards from Ford every year.

Bult also says, you don't need to have a personal story about President Ford. She says he represented everyone... including the underdogs.


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