Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > People > Chit - Chat for Cruisers
Register Forgot Password?

Chit - Chat for Cruisers Open Forum for non-cruise posts. Please refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could be considered offensive. We reserve the right to edit or delete for any reason.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 2nd, 2007, 11:07 AM
AR AR is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,472
Default President Ford

This morning Washington is crystal clear and quite windy. I was up very early because I had to make a quick pre-dawn run to National Airport. When I got home the sun was just up, so I made some coffee and began to watch the coverage of President Ford's funeral as his casket was carried from the Capitol and driven through the streets that I drive so often, past the White House and up Embassy Row to the Cathedral.

I couldn't help recalling that August day in 1974 when I worked a block from the White House. Minutes after Ford took the oath, I watched out the window and saw the chopper carrying the previous occupant ascend from the lawn. A while later I felt the need to clear my head and I went for a walk around the corner to Pennsylvania Avenue (this was long before the barricades and the Jersey walls). Naturally, TV trucks were everywhere, and I ran into Tom Pettit, a friend who was a correspondent for NBC. "Well," said Tom, "you can mark this one down in your 'where were you when..' book."

In the third of a century since, I can't recall a more somber day in Washington. Today is somber too, but the sadness is tempered by smiles. . .smiles when we remember that Ford was just the guy we needed at that moment. . .not because he was brilliant or because his policies were inspired, but because he was the guy who made his own coffee and toasted his own muffins. He was the dad in a relatively normal American family, and nothing changed that when he got his brief stint in the White House.

We could use a little more of that around here.

They were talking to Ben Bradlee, the inimitable emeritus editor of the Washington Post on MSNBC, and Bradlee told the story of sending a photo of Ford over to the White House with a request to have it autographed. It came back with the inscription, "I got my job through the Washington Post."

Anyone who remembers their Watergate history knows how funny that is. And it's a good way to remember President Ford this morning.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 2nd, 2007, 11:42 AM
ready2gonow's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,837
Default

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Alan.
__________________
Darlene
Mariner of the Seas
Carnival Magic Bloggers Cruise 5
Mariner of the Seas

HAL Statendam Alaska Cruise Tour - 09/09/12; Disney Magic - 12/01/12; Allure of the Seas - 05/26/13
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:39 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

AR,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Minutes after Ford took the oath, I watched out the window and saw the chopper carrying the previous occupant ascend from the lawn.
Hmmm....

My recollection of these events is a bit different than yours. IIRC, the "previous occupant" left the White House around 10:00 AM, leaving behind a sealed envelope containing his resignation in writing, effective at noon, eastern time, for delivery to the Secretary of State after his departure from Andrews AFB, and was aboard "Air Force One" en route to his home in San Clemente, California, when his resignation took effect and President Ford took the oath of office.

That said, I have no doubt that you saw choppers coming and going since there would have been plenty of security choppers in action around the White House and other major landmarks at the time to ensure that the transition of power occurred in an orderly manner. Indeed, the decistion to have his predecessor leave town before he took office probably was driven by security concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
They were talking to Ben Bradlee, the inimitable emeritus editor of the Washington Post on MSNBC, and Bradlee told the story of sending a photo of Ford over to the White House with a request to have it autographed. It came back with the inscription, "I got my job through the Washington Post."

Anyone who remembers their Watergate history knows how funny that is. And it's a good way to remember President Ford this morning.
**

Thank you so much for aharing that. I really needed a good laugh right about now!

President Ford will go down in history as a great man and a great laader even though the electorate voted him out of office in 1976. He had the courage to do what was in the best interest of our nation even though it was not necessarily popular at the time. I don't recall who said it, but there's a famous quote to the effect that "A politician thinks of the next election, but a statesman thinks of the next generation." President Ford was a true statesman.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 09:33 AM
AR AR is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,472
Default

Norm--

You're absolutely right, except I think he left a bit later than 10.

In Nixon's speech the night before from the Oval Office he said that he would resign and that Vice President Ford would assume the presidency "at noon tomorrow, in this office."

Then in mid-to-late morning the next day, Nixon made his famous "au revoir" speech in the East Room, the one in which he said, in effect, that if you hate your enemies, you lose. It's constantly replayed in Nixon documentaries, and the tape has the amazing cutaway of the young speechwriting staffer Ben Stein crying his eyes out as Nixon speaks.

Ford has often spoken of the thoughts that were racing through his mind shortly after Nixon spoke as he literally walked him to the door of the White House and watched him go out to the lawn and get on the chopper. The films of Nixon boarding the chopper are everywhere, of course. The defiant "V" gesture, arms raised.

Then Ford went back in, took the oath, and made the "long national nightmare is over" speech.

When I read your note, I thought about it and realized you're right about the sequence when I remembered an interview with the captain of Air Force One on that day. He said that shortly after they took off he got the message that Ford had been sworn in. He then called ATC and asked that his call sign be changed from Air Force One to N26000. That's because, as you probably know, "Air Force One" isn't a specific plane, it's whichever one that has the president aboard at the moment. N26000 was the tail number of the 707 that was the primary presidential plane at that time, although they had one or two copies in the hangar at Andrews.

There's no doubt, however, about the chopper I saw. I was on the fourth floor of a building that directly overlooks the White House lawn and the Ellipse. We all watched out the window and simultaneously on TV as it took off. Since I also heard Ford's speech on TV, I know that I left to take a walk after that.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 06:05 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

AR,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
You're absolutely right, except I think he left a bit later than 10.

In Nixon's speech the night before from the Oval Office he said that he would resign and that Vice President Ford would assume the presidency "at noon tomorrow, in this office."

Then in mid-to-late morning the next day, Nixon made his famous "au revoir" speech in the East Room, the one in which he said, in effect, that if you hate your enemies, you lose. It's constantly replayed in Nixon documentaries, and the tape has the amazing cutaway of the young speechwriting staffer Ben Stein crying his eyes out as Nixon speaks.
Hmmm....

JTOL, though, Nixon's departure could not have been too much after 10:00, as he had to get to Andrews AFB to get on the transport. I think that the chopper flight aboard "Marine One" (also a special call sign rather than a specific helicopter...) from the White House to Andrews AFB seems to take about a half hour to 45 minutes and they need some time to transfer, taxi out, and take off. I'm thinking that the chain of events that you describe might have started around 9:00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Ford has often spoken of the thoughts that were racing through his mind shortly after Nixon spoke as he literally walked him to the door of the White House and watched him go out to the lawn and get on the chopper. The films of Nixon boarding the chopper are everywhere, of course. The defiant "V" gesture, arms raised.

Then Ford went back in, took the oath, and made the "long national nightmare is over" speech.
And that must have been a very bittersweet moment for President Ford, between the disgrace of his predecessor and the daunting task of healing a nation that lay ahead of him!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
When I read your note, I thought about it and realized you're right about the sequence when I remembered an interview with the captain of Air Force One on that day. He said that shortly after they took off he got the message that Ford had been sworn in. He then called ATC and asked that his call sign be changed from Air Force One to N26000. That's because, as you probably know, "Air Force One" isn't a specific plane, it's whichever one that has the president aboard at the moment. N26000 was the tail number of the 707 that was the primary presidential plane at that time, although they had one or two copies in the hangar at Andrews.
Yes, I'm aware that "Air Force One" is a special call sign signifying any Air Force plane that happens to be carrying the President of the United States. The same is true of "Navy One" and "Marine Corps One," the latter most commonly used for the presidential helicopter, for the respective services. Likewise, the special call signs "Navy Two," "Marine Corps Two," and "Air Force Two" signify that an aircraft is carrying the Vice President but not the President.

That said, I always wondered how they handled the call sign on the aircraft that flew President Nixon home. While protocol would normally dictate the change of call sgn, that could equally create confuson for air traffic control that would be a safety concern. Thus, I wondered if the consideraton of safety had overridden strict protocol. Thanks for filling in the details!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
There's no doubt, however, about the chopper I saw. I was on the fourth floor of a building that directly overlooks the White House lawn and the Ellipse. We all watched out the window and simultaneously on TV as it took off. Since I also heard Ford's speech on TV, I know that I left to take a walk after that.
Hmmm....

If I'm understanding you correctly, you saw a chopper depart from the White House, heading northward, when you went out for a walk after Ford's speech, which followed his inauguration at noon. At that time, Nixon was aboard an Air Force plane en route to California, so he clearly could not have been aboard the chopper.

So iis it possible that President Ford took "Marine One" to the Vice President's offical residence on the grounds of the U. S. Naval Observatory, perhaps to pick up some belongings? If so, the chopper would have departed out of the White House in the same direction as in going to Andrews AFB....

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 09:29 PM
AR AR is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,472
Default

No, you're not understanding me correctly. I said that I saw the chopper take off from my office window overlooking the lawn and the Ellipse while simultaneously watching the same event on TV. In the original post, I just had the sequence of events wrong, saying that Ford took the oath before that. He didn't. You were right. He took the oath afterward and made a speech. I remember hearing Ford's speech and THEN going for a walk. I didn't see any helicopters at that time, or if I did I paid no attention, because we see them every day around here.

As far as changing the call sign enroute is concerned, I don't think it would be a big deal for ATC, even back then. Especially because they probably had a heads up that it was going to happen. I especially remember that interview with the pilot, because for me at least, it paints a picture of the true meaning of "orderly transfer." And it reminds me as it should everyone, that it's not the Nixon White House, or the Ford White House or the Clinton White House. It's our White House, and those guys are our employees. The job, under even the best of circumstances, is temporary. Thank you, founding fathers.

As far as the interval between Nixon's speech and his departure from Andrews, I honestly don't remember, except that I have a sense that it was a little later than 10. But it was 33 freaking years ago, so who knows? But one thing's sure, it only takes a chopper 5-8 minutes to go from the White House to Andrews, not 30-45 (you can usually drive it in that time, even today). The transfer between aircraft is done in about 2-3 minutes, and they spool up and take off within another five. They pre-position the plane near the threshhold of the active, so the taxi time is negligible. Clearly, there are never any planes ahead of them.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 4th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

AR,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
No, you're not understanding me correctly. I said that I saw the chopper take off from my office window overlooking the lawn and the Ellipse while simultaneously watching the same event on TV. In the original post, I just had the sequence of events wrong, saying that Ford took the oath before that. He didn't. You were right. He took the oath afterward and made a speech. I remember hearing Ford's speech and THEN going for a walk. I didn't see any helicopters at that time, or if I did I paid no attention, because we see them every day around here.
Okay, that makes a lot more sense. Thank you for the clarification!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As far as changing the call sign enroute is concerned, I don't think it would be a big deal for ATC, even back then. Especially because they probably had a heads up that it was going to happen. I especially remember that interview with the pilot, because for me at least, it paints a picture of the true meaning of "orderly transfer." And it reminds me as it should everyone, that it's not the Nixon White House, or the Ford White House or the Clinton White House. It's our White House, and those guys are our employees. The job, under even the best of circumstances, is temporary. Thank you, founding fathers.
Amen!

Quote:
As far as the interval between Nixon's speech and his departure from Andrews, I honestly don't remember, except that I have a sense that it was a little later than 10. But it was 33 freaking years ago, so who knows? But one thing's sure, it only takes a chopper 5-8 minutes to go from the White House to Andrews, not 30-45 (you can usually drive it in that time, even today). The transfer between aircraft is done in about 2-3 minutes, and they spool up and take off within another five. They pre-position the plane near the threshhold of the active, so the taxi time is negligible. Clearly, there are never any planes ahead of them.
(boldface in original)

Your timing for the helo lift sounds a bit optimistic, but then I'm sure that they have the drill down pat. In any case, the big advantage of the holo is that it avoids bottling up the city's streets while a presidential motorcade passes by, with the associated security issues that a presidential motorcade thorough the city creates for the Secret Service.

But you are absolutely right about the absence of traffic ahead of "Air Force One" departing from -- or landing at -- Andrews AFB!

BTW, there's usually a cargo transport plane that accompanies "Air Force One" everywhere. It carries the presidential limousine (and possibly a back-up), the presidential helicopter (and possibly a back-up for that also), and some vehicles for the Secret Service. This plane usually takes off after "Air Force One," overtakes "Air Force One" in flight, and lands enough ahead of "Air Force One" so the presidential helicopter or limousine is ready to go upon the President's arrival.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 12:44 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 111
Default

Watching the services for President Ford as the cameras scan the crowd. There are the Clinton's in the same room with the Bush's acting civil, Jimmy Carter talking about his deep friendship with someone he defeated!Imagine what this country would be like if the 2 parties came together 365 days a year. Have a great weekend everybody.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 05:55 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,771
Default

illiniandy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Watching the services for President Ford as the cameras scan the crowd. There are the Clinton's in the same room with the Bush's acting civil, Jimmy Carter talking about his deep friendship with someone he defeated!Imagine what this country would be like if the 2 parties came together 365 days a year. Have a great weekend everybody.
Absolutely! The utter lack of civility of one major party over the past decade and that party's refusal to do take meaningful action, as prescribed by the constitution, when its members who abuse their positions or offices are major factors in my opposition to members of that party.

But I'm deliberately refraining from naming names and discussing specifics. Let's not get into a discussion of politics in this thread!

Norm.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If you were President Lakers Fan Chit - Chat for Cruisers 55 August 27th, 2010 08:15 PM
Paris for President! WelshLord Chit - Chat for Cruisers 12 August 8th, 2008 05:42 PM
How one Ford Taurus can handle luggage for 4 people icountitalljoy Royal Caribbean International 8 September 5th, 2005 11:33 AM
The President Responds!! dsawyer Celebrity 12 September 1st, 2000 07:56 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:03 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1