A mural by Paul Collins brought a poignant moment to the end of the 1976 election season for Gerald Ford. After casting his vote the President attended the unveiling of the 8′ by 18′ painting depicting scenes from his life at the Kent County Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on November 2, 1976.
Collins, like Ford, grew up in Grand Rapids.
He was a prominent local artist and had painted a mural for one of the local schools.
Some of his earlier series of paintings, “Black Portrait of an African Journey” and “Other Voices - A Native American Tableau,” had also been shown internationally. Members of the Gerald R. Ford Committee, a group of President Ford’s hometown friends, familiar with Collins’ work commissioned him to paint the mural for the airport.
Collins traveled to Vail, Colorado, to do a sketching session with President Ford on August 21, 1975. He used those sketches as well as historical photographs provided by the White House as the basis of his work. Although President Ford received updates on Collins’ progress he did not see the completed work until the unveiling ceremony.
In the completed mural Collins included references to Ford’s family, time as a boy scout, football career, Naval service, and rise to the Presidency. President Ford was very touched by the painting. “The unveiling of your masterpiece at the Kent County Airport was one of the most wonderful experiences of my lifetime,” he wrote to Collins after the ceremony. “I am deeply indebted to you for this most beautiful tribute, and each time I return to Grand Rapids I will be reminded of that very memorable event.”
Collins continues to live and work in Grand Rapids. His Ford mural remains on display at the Kent County Airport, now known as the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Paul Collins sketching President Ford in Vail, Colorado, 8/21/1975 (White House photograph A6191-16A)
Paul Collins sketching President Ford during his interview with Maury DeJonge of the Grand Rapids Press in Vail, Colorado, 8/21/1975 (White House photograph
An artist proof of the Paul Collins Gerald R. Ford Mural from the Museum’s
collection. The actual mural is prominently
displayed at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids,
Paul Collins, Mrs. Ford, and President Ford at the unveiling of the Gerald R. Ford Mural at Kent Country Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 11/2/1976 (White House photograph B2136-34)
“Baby, we are going to get Jake now, we will be back soon.” Sam, my fiancé, said walking out the house with the rest of the pack. I nodded and took my phone out to listen to some music while cooking. I decided to make a Sunday dinner with blueberry muffins for desert.
45 Minutes later
I’m starting to worry. They haven’t come back yet and it never takes them this long to get Jake. My worries faded when Jared, Embry, Quil, Leah, Seth, Brady and Collin right behind him. “Oh thank Goodness! You all had me worried about you. Wait, we are your brothers.” I say, hugging Jared then going to Embry. They both hug me back and kiss my cheek then head straight for the food. I roll my eyes at them and their appetite. My eyes suddenly go to a girl by the door and I glance back at the boys. “Who is this?” I ask. “Bella Swan. Who else? Oh don’t look so worried Bree. Paul phased in front of her after she hit him. Then Jake phased and attacked Paul so Sam stayed with them.” Jared explained as him and the boys grabbed a muffin each. I faced Bella and glared at her for hitting one of my boys. “You hit Paul. What for exactly?” I ask crossing my arms, pissed off. “Mama wolf is mad.” I hear Collin mumble causing the entire pack to laugh. “He wouldn’t answer me.” Bella said. I just raised my eyebrows and scoffed. “Pathetic. Your lucky I don’t hit you now.” I state making her slightly scared. A few seconds later Paul, Sam and Jake walk in. “Sorry.” Paul says with a sarcastic smile. He walks over to me and gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek before sitting down and eating. “Hey baby.” Sam mutters kissing me all over my face then finally my lips. Jake walks in, kisses my cheek then hugging me. I noticed the jealous look Bella had on her face and smirked. Once Jake pulled away I went to the kitchen to finish the food. “Boys! If you keep eating those muffins I won’t give you any of the Sunday dinner I just cooked!” I warned, laughing when they groaned.
The most hated piece of Obamacare is the mandate requiring most Americans to get health insurance.
The Republican alternatives on the table may not prove any more popular.
As the GOP weighs elements of a repeal-replace plan, one of lawmakers’ biggest headaches is finding another way to persuade insurers to cover people with pre-existing health care problems. And all of the options under discussion would either raise the uninsured population or run afoul of GOP principles.
Barring insurers from discriminating against people with medical problems as long as they remain enrolled is harder than it looks and if done badly, is likely to leave a large pool of people uncovered — an increasingly unpalatable prospect after top Republicans from President Donald Trump on down have vowed not to push people off their coverage. Levying penalties on those who enroll late looks suspiciously like Obamacare’s existing tax penalty. And automatically enrolling people, which is part of one GOP replacement plan, strikes some conservatives as an unacceptable Big Government intrusion on individual freedom.
The discussions could yet descend into the kind of drawn-out fight that eroded support for Obamacare if options that at first seem appealing wind up prompting long-term political backlash. That could ultimately doom a GOP replacement plan and deny Republicans their long-sought goal of moving the nation toward a more market-based, less regulated health care system. Republicans have already given up on a quick dismantling of Obamacare and are preparing for a potentially long slog toward repeal and replace.
The way internal strife could upend the party’s ideological goals is an all-too-familiar dilemma to Democrats with battle scars from the epic fight to pass the 2010 health care law.
The Democrats publicly groused about the individual mandate and fretted about public discontent. But they concluded it was a necessary cudgel to persuade Americans — particularly younger and healthier individuals — to purchase coverage. Having a representative cross section of the population is essential in any system in which insurers are barred from discriminating against people with expensive medical conditions.
That truth makes the individual mandate the symbolic heart of Obamacare. Opponents of the law waged an unsuccessful legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court seeking to strike it down.