Seems as though everybody has a Betty Ford story and when you blend them together you get a mosaic of a trail blazing women who was out of step with the conservative wing of her and her husband's political party but clearly in tune with her own persona and she remained thus until her untimely death last week.
One recalls the day she showed up in Lansing in a phone bank boiler room where the state GOP was calling on folks to get out to vote. She dutifully took her seat and began pawing over the list of names plopped in front of her. First Ladies were expected to wave the flag from time to time.
Apparently seeing no relatives on the list, she picked up the phone and dialed away while the cameras recorded the whole thing for the evening news.
Was it a news worthy event?
If you stretch the definition far enough, you can, with your nose between your fingers, answer yes.
It didn't last long. In fact as soon as the news crews left, she was not far behind. But you came away with a nice and warm feeling about her.
First impressions are often wrong but this one was spot on. She had none of the vitriolic anti-this or anti-that rhetoric that flows from the mouths of some current GOP women who are on the stump.
Probably the worse thing was she had to use a rotary phone. (Yeah. It was that long ago.)
And then during one of those Public TV documentaries that nobody with a real life bothers to watch, there was a picture of the former dancer doing what else? Dancing with her shoes off on the huge table that her hubby, the president, used in the stately cabinet room in the W.H.
It was the classic and don't give a hoot Betty Ford at her charming best. Now as she is placed along side her beloved husband in Grand Rapids, the unconventional First Family of the moderate Republican President and his wonderfully unique spouse will again be a team for all eternity.