Saturday, July 9, 2011

She Didn't Always Live in the White House

Betty Ford had a good, long run. Her outspoken candor always intrigued the media and she was enormously popular -- at one point, 75 per cent of Americans liked her.

Because we knew of her at a certain time in her life, I was surprised to do some digging and discover other things about her that, while never "secret," were not addressed.

She was the youngest of three and had two older brothers. When she was 16, her father was found dead in the family garage. He'd been working on the car and died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The garage doors were open, but he was an alcoholic and my imagination filled in the blanks. He died the day before his 60th birthday.

She married William Warren when she was 24. Unfortunately, he was also an alcoholic with, as a bonus, diabetes. Just after she decided to divorce him, he went into a (possibly alcohol-fueled) coma. It didn't kill him and she stayed with him for the two years it took him to recover. Then she divorced him.

She married Gerald Ford when she was 30 and they were married for the next 58 years, until his death age 93.

It could be argued that no matter how bad it may have been in the beginning, a life can wind up happily ever after.

No comments: