Five Yale football players who met former President Ford along with the rest of the varsity team here on Monday weren't satisfied. They have Secret Service men a note, asking to see Ford again. "The guy told us it was a thousand-to-one shot," said center Tom Ventresca.
"Ford said, 'Great! Send them up,'" according to an aide, so the five students were invited to the former President's guest suite in Yale's Timothy Dwight College about 9 Monday night for a private chat.
"We dressed - uh - informally, and got a couple of six-packs of beer," said Ventresca. "We talked for about an hour, about football, skiing, pro wrestling, swine flu. We all told stories and a couple of the Secret Service men even jumped in and told a few."
"I'd have to characterize him as the warmest politician I've ever met," the Yale junior continued.
Ford concluded his three-day stay as a Chubb Fellow at Yale this morning by having breakfast with 20 students, chosen by lottery, and stopped to greet first graders from Hamden Hall School, a local private school, who waited for him in the college foyer. He later answered questions from 50 Yale law school students and faculty in the law school's faculty lounge and discussed domestic policy with professors and graduate students of political science.
Third-year student Fred Abbott, who was present at the closed law school session, reported that Ford said he was "personally hurt" that he had received only 8 per cent of the black vote in the recent presidential election. According to students who dined with him last night. Ford said he had expected Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey to be the Democratic nominee and elaborated over lunch that if Humphrey had won the nomination, he thought that he would still be in the White House today.
In addition to the five delighted football players, Yale students and faculty who have met with Ford since his arrival Sunday night have been charmed by his personal style.
"We asked him pretty softball questions," said junior Jeff Magnin. Junior Nancee Alexander concurred, "This was not the place to ask him tough questions about issues. It was more an opportunity to get to know him as a man."
Ford, a 1941 graduate of Yale Law School, and assistant football coach at Yale from 1935 to 1940 told reporters he was glad to be back in an academic atmosphere.
The former President's final appearance on campus was a lunch with about 20 students at Mory's, the legendary drinking establishment. Yale's 22-member female singing group, the New Blue sang ald Yale songs for Ford, including "Daddy Was a Yale Man" and "Saving Myself for Yale." As Ford shook hands with each member after the serenade sophmore Patty Granger exclaimed, "You're the first Yale man who's ever held my hand."