Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Gerald Ford

Former president Gerald Ford died tonight.  It was just before 11:30 p.m. when an alert from ABC News came across a screen in the control room.  It said that Ford had died and to stand by for a possible special report.  We still had about five minutes to go in the newscast, and I kept watching the wires for confirmation, but none came.  So, we didn't mention it.  I heard the official report about 15 minutes later, as I drove home.

If I recall, Ford was the first president I ever voted for.  I was just shy of eight-years-old when he took office in 1974, and 10 when he ran against Carter in 1976.  Too young to vote for real, obviously, but I seem to remember that we had one of those "mock" elections in school, and we cast our votes on an actual voting machine.  I voted for Ford and Bob Dole, even though (if I remember correctly), my mother managed to stick some sort of "Vote for Carter" message on my sweater before I left the house!

Anyway, some of us in the newsroom (me included) were complaining earlier in the evening about what a slow news week this would be.  In general, nothing much happens between Christmas and New Year's.  I don't think it's going to be slow anymore. 

And then, there's the big question of who will be number three?  It's a well-known rule in newsrooms that famous people die in threes.  The current string is James Brown (on Christmas day) and Ford.  Who will be next?

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