Gerald Ford was a very likable guy. Since his death last week, I have been impressed with the number of people who have stepped forward with different stories about how Ford was just a regular guy called to duty.
Researching the updating of the story about the sale of creationist books in the Grand Canyon, I stumbled into a press release from the National Park Service. It turns out that Ford is the only president ever to have worked as a National Park Ranger (well, the National Park Service itself has only been around since 1901, so that lets out about half the presidents from even the possibility — though, of course, Yellowstone was established in 1862 1872).
In the summer of 1936 Ford worked in Yellowstone National Park. He had duties that sound rather quaint and definitely antiquated today: Ford was a guard on the bear feeding truck. Bears have to fend for themselves in today’s National Parks. No, it’s not due to budget cuts in bear food. Bears do better as wild creatures, and so feeding was stopped to discourage them from becoming tame and dependent on humans.
Gerald Ford, ranger mensch.