Monday, January 31, 2011

Fishing Presidents: Gerald Ford

Fifth in a series of Fishing Presidents. Today, Gerald Ford
Taking a snooze while deep-sea fishing
during a vacation in the Bahamas.
Photo courtesy of Ford Library 

To be fair, the photo at the right is of Gerald Ford while on vacation in April 1966 when he was a Congressman, not the president. Also, Ford didn't take fishing quite as seriously as Herbert Hoover did.

Why should he? Fishing wasn't Ford's favorite hobby. That'd be golf, which he did about as well as he fished.

While researching my book "Celebrity Fish Talk," I managed to squeeze by two Secret Service agents to corral Ford on the driving range before he teed off at the Bob Hope Desert Classic one year. I asked him if he had a fishing story.

He said he wasn't into fishing, that he was always more into team sports. Then he walked off to the first tee to play an individual sport.

There was no documentation about Ford catching any fish on that April day in 1966. He definitely caught a nap, though.

Next week: Jimmy Carter


  1. He is not snoozing but in serious contemplation of what he had just told the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science and Astronautics Committee in order to instigate hearings on the of the present day UFO sighting causing such concern for National Security of our nation of possible insurrection of aliens on earth. Ford's efforts weren't met with great enthusiasm; however, he got the ball rolling, and a "Congressional Symposium" later took place, ironically chaired by then Congressman Donald Rumsfeld.

    In a radio broadcast to his constituents on March 30, 1966, Ford stated:

    "My friends of the fifth congressional district, this is your congressman, Jerry Ford, speaking to you from the nation's capitol.

    As you know, I have requested a Congressional investigation of unidentified flying objects, UFO's, as they are called.

    I am most serious about this. This is the kind of subject that lends itself to some flak, a little criticism, and a shower of compliments.

    One day this week, I felt an unidentified flying object whiz past my ear--my right ear naturally. Upon close inspection, I had no more trouble identifying this particular UFO than the Air Force did in telling the people of Michigan they have been seeing swamp gas.

    The UFO I encountered was a brickbat tossed by an irate gentleman who believes Congress could use its time to much better advantage than in investigating what he calls 'UFO hysteria.'

    But this is one of the few criticisms I encountered in the more than 50 letters that I received since first proposing that UFO's be investigated by either the House Armed Services Committee or the House Science and Astronautics Committee.

    ...And I do think that the American people want a better explanation of UFO's than they have been getting. If my mail is any indication, there are many, many people who find it extremely difficult to believe some of the stories put out by the government on this and other subjects.

    This is your Congressman, Jerry Ford, saying, so long for now, and I'll see you next week at this same time, same station."

    With such a heavy load lifted from his shoulders, he now was angling for another type of UFO; a sailfish!

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