Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Day I met former President Gerald Ford

Photo by Linda (Wada) February 1977 - Bob Hope Classic
It seems not to fail that well-known people pass during the holiday season. Singer James Brown joins Charlie Chaplin for passing away on Christmas Day.

This evening, I read the BBC news and saw that former president Gerald Ford passed away at the age of 93. I remember meeting Gerald Ford just after he left office in 1977.

My father took us to see the Bob Hope Golf Classic in Palm Springs, California in February 1977. Oddly enough, I spent part of this Christmas cleaning a storage area that had items from Christmases past, and one of the items was the program from that Hope Classic. It has a few autographs tucked away inside I gathered that day on the course.

During that February day we got to walk with the 'stars of the day' like Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr, Andy Williams, golf-pro Arnold Palmer, Flip Wilson, Lawrence Welk, and many more.

At one point, I walked up to a fairly tall man standing next to the ropes wearing a blue shirt and white pants. I didn't know who he was at first, but as he turned his head I could see it was Mr. Ford. Well, it is not everyday you can stand by a former president of the United States and not have anyone else around. So without really thinking about it, I tapped Mr. Ford on the shoulder. He turned around.

Mr. Ford was very nice and as we exchanged names, he shook my hand. We talked for a little bit when he was called away to take his next shot in the game. Later, I took the photo seen here on top with Mr. Ford in the crowd. I didn't vote for Mr. Ford in November 1976 (my first election), but again, it is not everyday you meet a president. In later years, both former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter became good friends.

Gerald Ford was the longest living president at age 93. He became president after Mr. Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. Mr. Ford is not the only president I have seen in person. I got to photograph Ronald Reagan for a photo shoot at a college I was working for in the mid-80s.

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