August 28, 2014 – Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Neil’s Dutch Village

As our friends began getting ready to leave for California, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania and even the Detroit area, we bit them a fond adieu and headed out for the

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (a), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (a1), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (a5), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (a3), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (a4), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (Statue), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28
The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum is the only such facility under the auspices of the National Archives and Records Administration to be separate from the presidential library, which is located approximately 130 miles to the east in Ann Arbor, which we visited last month.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (Lobby), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28The main floor contains exhibits on President Ford’s life

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (b3 - Ford's Early Years), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28

Eagle Scout

Eagle Scout

Football player at the University of Michigan

Football player at the University of Michigan

Naval Officer during World War II

Naval Officer during World War II

and career … including his nomination and confirmation as the nation’s o   nly unelected Vice President

Congressman Ford’s recommendations to President Nixon for Vice President

Congressman Ford’s recommendations to President Nixon for Vice President

and subsequent ascension to President upon the resignation of President Nixon … when he said in his inaugural address;

I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers. And I hope that such prayers will also be the first of many.

If you have not chosen me by secret ballot, neither have I gained office by any secret promises. I have not campaigned either for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman—my dear wife—as I begin this very difficult job.”

and the Office of President … including his controversial pardoning of former President Richard Nixon,

Ford Pardoning of Nixonthe evacuation of Saigon,

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (m - Evacuation fo Saigon - Photo), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28

Actual helicopter

Actual helicopter

Actual embassy roof stairs

Actual embassy roof stairs

and the other highlights and challenges he faced during his brief presidency.

Listening and photographic equipment used during the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C

Listening and photographic equipment used during the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C

Ship’s bell from the USS Mayaguez, taken over by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge

Ship’s bell from the USS Mayaguez, taken over by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge

 Pistol used by Squeaky Fromme (a Charles Mason follower) when she tried to assassinate President Ford


Pistol used by Squeaky Fromme (a Charles Mason follower) when she tried to assassinate President Ford

 President Ford’s unsuccessful re-election bid in 1976


President Ford’s unsuccessful re-election bid in 1976

And, although it occurred some thirteen years after he left office … a slab from the Berlin Wall.Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (Slab from the Berlin Wall), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28Some of the many gifts to President and Mrs. Ford

(p - Gifts - Diamond-studded Golden Eagle from Sultan of Oman), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 G (p - Gifts - Japanese Pagoda from Japanese Little League), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (p - Gifts - from Queen Elizabeth II), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (p - Gifts - Urnfrom Deputy Minister of Syria), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28Tributes to Betty Ford for her efforts and advocacy both during her tenure in the White House and afterwards.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (t  - Betty Ford Achievements), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28Candid photographs of Ford interacting with his family and colleagues offer the visitor a personal glimpse of the president.

There are full-scale replicas of the Cabinet Room
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (r - Cabinet Room), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28and the Oval Office

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (l1 - Oval Office), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (l2 - Oval Office), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (l3 - Oval Office - President's Desk), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28as they were decorated and furnished during Ford’s presidency.

Gerald and Betty Ford are buried nearby on the Museum’s grounds.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (y), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (z - Final Resting Place for Gerald and Betty Ford), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28

The Museum’s current special exhibit is entitled

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (u - Exhibit - Rise of the AMerican Aircraft Carrier), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28which highlights the history of naval aviation from the first carrier landing by
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (w - Eugene Ely), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28Eugene Ely who launched his Curtis pusher from an improvised deck on the USS Birmingham on November 14, 1910 and then landing on another improvised carrier, the USS Pennsylvania

Ely Takeoffto World War II and an authentic reproduction of a Japanese map used in the December 7, 2941 raid on Pearl Harbor.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (x - Plan for Pearl Harbor), Grand Rapids, MI - 2104-08-28
and finally the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78),

USS_Gerald_R._Ford_(CVN-78)_on_the_James_River_in_2013the lead ship of her class of United States Navy supercarriers; incorporating many new and innovative technologies, including electromagnetic catapults (EMALS) which will launch aircraft, eliminating the need to store water and heat it for steam catapults.

Our second and last stop of the day was at Neils’ Dutch Village, a step back into the Netherlands of over 100 years ago, complete with authentic Dutch architecture, flowering gardens, canals and windmills. The history and culture of the Dutch comes to life as our associates dressed in native costumes including wooden shoes, demonstrate village life.Neil's Dutch Village (Windmill), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28

25-bell carillon imported from the Netherlands in 1991. It plays one of several songs on the hour and half-hour

A 25-bell carillon imported from the Netherlands in 1991. It plays one of several songs on the hour and half-hour

Hardewyk Chapel

Hardewyk Chapel

Neil's Dutch Village (Hardewyk Chapel Interior), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28

Typical connected farmhouse and barn

Typical connected farmhouse and barn

Living area

Living area

Kitchen

Kitchen

Sleeping quarters, between the living and kitchen areas – Parents slept on one side with a smaller bed above for an infant with the older children sleeping in the other bed

Sleeping quarters, between the living and kitchen areas – Parents slept on one side with a smaller bed above for an infant with the older children sleeping in the other bed

Attached Barn

Attached Barn

Debbie being weighed in the Waggebouw … amazingly accurate … however, the actual results are CLASSIFIED

Debbie being weighed in the Waggebouw … amazingly accurate … however, the actual results are CLASSIFIED

A Grain and Seed Cleaner & Separator – One horse walking continuously on the treadle system creates the power to turn the giant wheel which moves the belt bringing the needed power to the large machine to separate the grain from the chaff and this the term, “One Horse Power!

A Grain and Seed Cleaner & Separator – One horse walking continuously on the treadle system creates the power to turn the giant wheel which moves the belt bringing the needed power to the large machine to separate the grain from the chaff and this the term, “One Horse Power!

Village Museum … with period clothes and a variety of dolls

Village Museum … with period clothes and a variety of dolls

Neil's Dutch Village (Museum - Period Dresses), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28 Neil's Dutch Village (Museum - Dolls), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28

Golden Angel Street Organ

Golden Angel Street Organ

A demonstration of traditional Dutch dancing

A demonstration of traditional Dutch dancing

 Demonstrations of traditional Dutch dancing

A statue of Van Gogh at work

Traditional wooden shoe making

Traditional wooden shoe making

Contemporary wooden shoe making – rough shaping

Contemporary wooden shoe making – rough shaping

Contemporary wooden shoe making – routing the inside area

Contemporary wooden shoe making – routing the inside area

Finished engagement shoes ... given in lieu of a ring

Finished engagement shoes … given in lieu of a ring

The most fascinating process we saw was candle making … which is a real art!

Neil's Dutch Village (Candle Making - a), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28 Neil's Dutch Village (Candle Making - b), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28 Neil's Dutch Village (Candle Making - c), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28 Neil's Dutch Village (Candle Making - d), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28 Neil's Dutch Village (Candle Making - e), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28 Neil's Dutch Village (Candle Making - f), Holland, MI - 2104-08-28

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