Reflections on a president

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

Former U.S. President Gerald Ford was an avid golfer who always had a tee time open for the Edmonton Oilers.

Ford, who passed away Tuesday at age 93 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, was a friend of former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington.

Over the course of a decade in the years following his tenure as 38th U.S. President, Ford played several rounds of golf with the Oilers. He and wife Betty Ford often opened their home to the Oilers when the team made road trips California.

"He was a real gentleman," said coach Craig MacTavish.

"I heard last night and I absolutely reflected back on the times we played golf together down in Palm Springs and Pebble Beach."

MacTavish, GM Kevin Lowe and assistant coaches Charlie Huddy and Craig Simpson were members of the Oilers who teed it up with Ford in the mid-1980's and early 1990's.

"He was a guy who was always interested more in your life than what he did. He was a terrific person to be around and a big part of the Oilers back in those days," MacTavish said.

"It's always great to be in the same company as an ex-President. We had a lot of fun with it and he had a lot of fun with it ... he was a guy who could very much have a good laugh and he was always gracious enough to invite us over to his place."


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