At 93 years old, America’s oldest living President sadly dies.
Gerald Ford had the good fortune to meet me in the mid 80s when he visited the town of Rickmansworth, in Hertfordshire, UK. Gerald was in town to play some golf at the Bob Hope Classic Pro-Amateur tournament in Moor Park. I lived in the town – good fortune had me at the golf club because, as a member of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, I was on public duty providing first aid for those that needed it. I was a boy in uniform and Gerald was an average golfer.
What he recalls of our meeting is not public knowledge as, oddly, it doesn’t feature in his memoirs. However, for the curious, I’ll fill you in. Dressed in my uniform, I was granted access to parts of the club to which the general public were barred. It was a handy cover as I was keen on collecting autographs from anyone I could. And so I strolled off towards the 19th hole where all the pros and celebs were hanging out but due to Gerald’s standing in world politics, my route was blocked due to the US secret service. In Hertfordshire. Incredible.
I asked the gentlemen, politely, why I couldn’t get closer and they told me about Gerald, politely. And loudly. So loudly in fact that Gerald overheard and came across and apologised to me in person. He shook my hand. I asked for his autograph but he didn’t ask for mine. He apologised once again but said he couldn’t give me an autograph and I left a little crestfallen.
As I said, history doesn’t tell Gerald’s side of this story. Shame.