gerald ford en Her feisty character and other reasons to remember Michigan's only First Lady <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Patricia Hill Burnett, who was famous back in the </span>1970s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as sort of the quintessential Republican feminist, will be 94 in a few months.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">She is still defiantly pro-Equal Rights Amendment, pro-choice, and on economic issues, Republican to the core.</span></p><p>She was runner-up to Miss America 72 years ago, and went on to become both Michigan’s unofficial state portrait painter and the woman who started the state chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women.</p><p>Comfortably wealthy, she always dresses and talks, as Detroit News columnist Laura Berman says today, “like a local, more highly educated version of Zsa Zsa Gabor.”</p><p>I went to see her earlier this year when she was recovering from a brief illness, and she told me that she felt sad that many young women did not want to be called feminists any more.</p><p>She was also sad that younger women didn’t know anything about Betty Ford.</p><p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:54:35 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18286 at Her feisty character and other reasons to remember Michigan's only First Lady Ford at 100 <p>Michigan celebrates what would have been President Gerald R. Ford's 100th birthday this weekend.</p><p></p><p>Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and attended the University of Michigan in his youth.</p><p></p><p>Jim Kratsas is the Deputy Director at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. He says the late president's legacy is known around his native Michigan.</p><p></p><p>“It's a time to celebrate Michigan's favorite son,” says Kratsas.</p><p></p><p>He says the late president was also deeply involved in the local community.</p><p></p> Sat, 13 Jul 2013 15:59:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13519 at Ford at 100 Gerald Ford statue dedicated at University of Michigan <p>ANN ARBOR, Michigan. (AP) - The University of Michigan is home to a new statue of one of its most famous alumni, President Gerald Ford.</p><p>Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft helped dedicate the Ford statue Tuesday in Ann Arbor.</p><p>The bronze statue created by sculptor J. Brett Grill now stands in the Great Hall at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.</p><p>It's a scale model of the statue of Ford that stands in the National Statuary Hall of the Capitol Rotunda.</p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 16:47:10 +0000 The Associated Press 12176 at Gerald Ford statue dedicated at University of Michigan Former First Ladies to appear at an event in Grand Rapids Monday <p>Two former First Ladies will take part in a special event in Grand Rapids Monday.</p><p></p><p>Former First Ladies Barbara and Laura Bush are headlining the day-long symposium looking at the influence of First Ladies.</p><p></p><p>Elaine Didier is the Gerald R. Ford presidential museum director.&nbsp; &nbsp;She says the Bushes have spoken at similar events at presidential museums in Texas.</p><p></p><p>“They are quite a dynamo,” says Didier, “The two have a great rapport. I mean it’s really is something……a mother-in-law / daughter-in-law first lady situation.”</p><p></p> Sun, 07 Apr 2013 17:26:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 12021 at Former First Ladies to appear at an event in Grand Rapids Monday “Priceless items” that belonged to former President Ford, Betty Ford, head to auction <p>This week the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is <a href=";Nf=Lot%20No|BTWN+38271+38322">auctioning off a bunch of memorabilia </a>and personal items that once belonged to the former president.</p><p>“This is a rare opportunity for people that want to have part of President Ford or Mrs. Ford’s legacy,” Joe Calvaruso said. He’s President of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.</p> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 19:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10270 at “Priceless items” that belonged to former President Ford, Betty Ford, head to auction Remembering President Gerald Ford <p>GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - An annual wreath-laying ceremony has been held to remember former President Gerald Ford at a West Michigan museum bearing his name.<br /><br /> Relatives and friends of the Ford family attended Saturday&#39;s ceremony at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, where Ford and his wife are buried.<br /><br /> Gerald Ford died in 2006. The ceremony also was to include a remembrance of former first lady Betty Ford, who died last year.<br /> Sat, 14 Jul 2012 21:00:12 +0000 The Associated Press 8274 at Remembering President Gerald Ford Michigan medical illustrator 'deceived eyes’ in free time <p>Gerald P. Hodge, a well-known medical and biological illustrator, died in his Ann Arbor home on Thursday at the age of 91. In addition to drawing for medical journals and founding the Master of Fine Arts program in medical and biological illustration at the University of Michigan, Hodge was one of the seven members of the Trompe l&#39;Oeil Society of Artists.</p><p>Hodge drew and painted intricate still life images, often depicting nostalgic mementos like ticket stubs and seashells. To see more examples of Hodge&#39;s artwork, visit the <a href="">Trompe l&#39;Oeil Society of Artists website</a>.</p><p>The art style trompe l&#39;oeil , French for &ldquo;deceive the eye,&rdquo; is known for images and sculptures that appear to exhibit greater dimensions or photo-realism. Hodge taught workshops on mastering this art of optical illusion at the Scottsdale Artists&#39; School in Scottsdale, Ariz.</p><p>In an artist&rsquo;s statement on the society&rsquo;s website, Gerard wrote that his experience teaching at the University of Michigan prepared him for producing trompe l&#39;oeil artwork.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;My paintings are carefully designed,&quot; Hodge wrote, &quot;and I try and go beyond photographic appearances by adding contrast, adding to or eliminating details, making shadows more important, and by slightly changing the shapes and colors of my subject matter in order to enhance the design and quality of my paintings.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Follow the links for more <a href="">modern examples of trompe l&#39;oeil artwork</a> and <a href=";pid=157974942&amp;fhid=12794">Hodge&rsquo;s full obituary</a>.</p><p><em>-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom</em></p><p> Mon, 11 Jun 2012 20:59:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7838 at Michigan medical illustrator 'deceived eyes’ in free time Medical illustrator, `fool the eye' artist dies <p>ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - World-renowned medical illustrator Gerald Parker Hodge has died at his home in Michigan. He was 91.<br /><br /> His daughter Melinda Hodge says Hodge died Thursday in Ann Arbor after a fight with cancer.<br /><br /> Hodge was a longtime professor at the University of Michigan, where he founded the master&#39;s program in medical and biological illustration in 1964.<br /><br /> Beyond his work in the applied art field, he was prominent as a fine artists specializing in &quot;fool the eye&quot; paintings.<br /> Sun, 10 Jun 2012 19:51:35 +0000 The Associated Press 7826 at Grand Rapids airport proposes new plan to deal with runoff from de-icing fluid <p>Airplanes across the country use de-icing fluid, and airports have to figure out how to deal with the run-off from the fluid.</p><p>The <a href="">Gerald R. Ford International Airport</a> has come up with a $15 million plan to deal with the run-off which contains a substance called glycol. The Grand Rapids airport currently mixes glycol with storm water and dumps it into a tributary, where it breaks down and creates a bacterial slime.</p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 20:56:12 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 4100 at Grand Rapids airport proposes new plan to deal with runoff from de-icing fluid Former First Lady Betty Ford laid to rest today <p>Cameras shuttered but the crowds remained silent as uniformed officers&rsquo; took Betty Ford&rsquo;s casket into Grace Episcopal Church Thursday afternoon.&nbsp;</p><p>John Smith walked a few blocks from his home in East Grand Rapids to watch. Smith says despite their station in life, the Ford&rsquo;s never lost touch with working Americans.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The Fords&rsquo; represent the Camelot of the common man, and what the regular guy could aspire to as a way to live and a way to be happy and they achieved it.&rdquo;</p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 22:56:47 +0000 Lindsey Smith 3324 at Former First Lady Betty Ford laid to rest today Crowds wait for Betty Ford funeral to begin <p>The funeral itself is private, but around 200 people are lining the route close to the Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids.</p><p>Donna Smith and her husband, John, live just a couple blocks away from the church and got a great spot to view the precession pass by.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;She went through a lot personally and because of her strength in fighting breast cancer, alcoholism; just being a wonderful wife and mother and supporting her family,&quot; Donna Smith says.&nbsp; &quot;I have a lot of respect for that.&quot;</p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 16:57:09 +0000 Lindsey Smith 3309 at Crowds wait for Betty Ford funeral to begin Thousands pay respects to Betty Ford in Grand Rapids <p>Betty Ford will be laid to rest Thursday afternoon in Grand Rapids. Wednesday evening, thousands paid their respects during visitation at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum.</p><p>The sidewalk outside the Ford Museum was packed with people when the motorcade rolled by, carrying Betty Ford on her final trip home.</p><p>Edna Jungers and her friend Yvonne Locker traveled from Milwaukee to see the former first lady in repose.</p><p>Jungers says her son lived near the Fords when they had a condo in Vail, Colorado.</p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 02:49:24 +0000 Vincent Duffy 3300 at Thousands pay respects to Betty Ford in Grand Rapids Ford funeral service today in California <p><a href="">Betty Ford</a> and her husband, the late President Gerald Ford, spent much of the past thirty years in Rancho Mirage, California. About a thousand people will attend an invitation-only funeral service today in nearby Palm Desert.</p><p>Wednesday, Mrs. Ford&rsquo;s body will be flown to Michigan. A public viewing will take place tomorrow evening at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.&nbsp;</p><p>A private funeral at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids is planned for Thursday. Afterward, she will be buried next to her husband on the grounds of the presidential museum.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Betty Ford died last week.&nbsp; She was 93. Tue, 12 Jul 2011 05:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 3253 at Ford funeral service today in California The Importance of Betty Ford <p></p><p>They&rsquo;re bringing Betty Ford back home this week, to be buried next to her husband, President Gerald Ford, at his presidential museum in Grand Rapids.</p><p>You knew by now that the former first lady died last Friday in California. But what you may not have known unless you are in your fifties, or older, is just how important she was.</p><p>They both were, really. President Ford&rsquo;s story is better known, and best expressed by Jimmy Carter, who said when he took office: &ldquo;I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.&rdquo;</p><p>Elizabeth Bloomer Ford had a big role in that too, but she also did something else. She showed the nation that a first lady could also be a human being.</p><p>The Fords took office after the final convulsion of the Watergate scandal, and eleven of the worst years the United States has ever known. The public had learned that Richard Nixon had lied about virtually everything.</p><p>His predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, had dragged us into a war in Vietnam for reasons nobody understood, a war that went on for years and tore our nation apart. Before that, we&rsquo;d been traumatized when the young president before him had his head blown off in broad daylight. The presidency and America had taken a beating.</p><p>Nor were any of the first ladies of the period women to whom most people could relate. We&rsquo;d always been fascinated by the presidents&rsquo; wives. But they were sort of like royalty, fascinating, forbidden and distant. Betty Ford was a regular person. Just months before she moved in to the White House, she was the unknown wife of the house minority leader, looking forward to her husband&rsquo;s retirement from Congress. Then, suddenly, she was first lady.</p><p>But she was still Betty Ford, the irrepressible mother of four kids, a woman who most of all, was real. Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:08:42 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 3240 at The Importance of Betty Ford Former First Lady Betty Ford dies <p>Betty Ford said things that first ladies just don&#39;t say, even today. And 1970s America loved her for it.</p><p>According to Mrs. Ford, her young adult children probably had smoked marijuana &mdash; and if she were their age, she&#39;d try it, too. She told &quot;60 Minutes&quot; she wouldn&#39;t be surprised to learn that her youngest, 18-year-old Susan, was in a sexual relationship (an embarrassed Susan issued a denial).</p> Sat, 09 Jul 2011 02:16:18 +0000 The Associated Press 3225 at Former First Lady Betty Ford dies Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum could be among the first victims of possible govt. shutdown <p>The <a href="">Gerald R. Ford presidential museum and library </a>would be among the first places people in Michigan would see affected by a possible federal government shutdown.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>On a normal Saturday in April, a few hundred people visit the Ford presidential museum in Grand Rapids.&nbsp;&nbsp; But, if Congress can&rsquo;t reach a budget deal by midnight tonight, the Ford museum&rsquo;s doors will stay locked over the weekend.</p> Fri, 08 Apr 2011 18:34:08 +0000 Steve Carmody 1989 at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum could be among the first victims of possible govt. shutdown U.S. House approves President Ford statue at Capitol <p>The U.S. House of Representatives <a href="">has authorized a plan</a> to put a statue of President <a href="">Gerald R. Ford</a> in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C., <a href="">according to Michigan Congressman Fred Upton</a>. Rep. Upton says all 14 of his colleagues in Michigan&rsquo;s Congressional delegation co-sponsored the resolution.</p><p>The measure now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval. The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>The statue would replace a statue of Michigan abolitionist Zachariah Chandler. Federal law lets each state display two statues in the Capitol at one time.</p><p>Upton says a presentation ceremony for the new statue is planned May 3.</p></blockquote><p>President Ford represented Michigan in the U.S. House of Representative before he became President Richard Nixon&rsquo;s vice president. Ford succeeded Nixon in 1974. Ford passed away in 2006. Representative Upton released the following statement on his <a href="">website</a>:</p><blockquote><p><br /><font class="middlecopy"><font class="middlecopy">&ldquo;As one who has the honor and privilege of representing some of the very same people in southwest Michigan that President Ford did during his time in the House, it gives me great pleasure to witness this fitting tribute to Michigan&rsquo;s native son,&rdquo; said Upton.&nbsp; &ldquo;President Gerald Ford is a Michigan original and a model for all those called to public service.&nbsp; A seemingly ordinary American who unexpectedly found himself in the presidency at one of our nation&rsquo;s most tumultuous times, Gerald Ford led with honesty and integrity.&nbsp; By standing above the political fray, President Ford allowed a wounded nation to heal.&rdquo;</font></font> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:06:27 +0000 Zoe Clark 1652 at U.S. House approves President Ford statue at Capitol