As the nation mourns the death of former President Gerald R. Ford,
a Grand Junction man reflects on his 37 year friendship with the former Commander in Chief.
Gerry Ford and Retired Command Sergeant Major William Brown
met in 1969 in Vail. Brown was the Director of Mountain Operations at the Vail and Beaver Creek Ski Resorts, when Gerald Ford, then just a congressman from Michigan, would fly out to ski. Through the years the two developed a close bond.
"I never brought up politics to him, he told me he said I'm up here to enjoy the Colorado mountain air, I want to forget everything." Although Ford was at the time the most powerful man in the world, Brown says he was a true friend. And when asked about the former Commander in Chief's legacy, Brown said it is everlasting.
A memorial was held Saturday night in Vail to honor the former president. The religious service will include skiers carrying torches down Golden Peak.