Ford Cracks Ice With His Trowel For Lefthander
The crowd gathered, television cameras rolled and photographers from the newspapers started clicking. This was to be a happy but subdued occasion.
But Gerald Ford, the former President proved Tuesday to be an "ice-breaker" with a sense of humor.
Ford approached the pile of wet cement he would be using to help lay the cornerstone of the new library to his presidential papers on U-M's north campus. He looked carefully at a silver trowel was handed to him by a university official.
"DOES THIS THING work for a lefthander?" he joked. "I don't know if I should be doing this - I'm a Republican without my union card."
After having his picture taken about a dozen times in the same pose - holding a trowel full of cement - he finally asked - one pestering photographer, "Hey. where do you want it?" It was aimed right at the shutterbug's face.
Following the ceremony, a group created to assist in the development of the Ford Presidential Library held its first meeting.
THE FORD LIBRARY Advisory Council, formed in 1976 by the university, Ford and the National Archives and Records Service, is charged with making recommendations to the U-M concerning the Presidential collection and is also the medium through which U-M will advise archivists on policy matters.
On donating his Presidential papers in 1976 to the public, Ford stipulated that they be kept at U-M,his alma mater. The library, expected to be completed in early 1981, will be administered by the National Archives. It is being built with private gift funds and is adjacent to the Bentley Historical Library.
Serving on the council for three years are Robert M. Warner, director of the Michigan Historical Collections; Philip W. Buchen of Dewey, Ballatine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood in Washington, D.C.; and Richard A. Ford, Ford Paint and Varnish Company in Grand Rapids.
COUNCIL MEMBERS for two years are: William T. Coleman Jr., of O Melveny & Meyers, Washington, D.C.; Sidney Fine, U-M professor of history: Edward J. Frey, president of the Great Lakes Financial Corporation in Grand Rapids; and George L. Grassmuck, U-M. professor of political science.
Appointed to one-year terms on the council are: Robert E. Barrett, executive assistant to Ford; Michael Radock, U-M vice president for university relations and development; Joan S. Stark, dean of the U-M School of Education; and Harry A. Towsley. U-M professor emeritus of pediatrics and communicable diseases.
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Gerald R. Ford
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