AMERICAN NOTES: A Tale of Two Shrines

Nobody wanted the house at 649 Union Avenue in Grand Rapids. The Veterans Administration, which received title to the property in 1972, had reduced its original asking price from $12,500 to $5,500 last month. Still no sale. One local speculator offered a dismaying $100. Then, not long ago, the VA and the rest of the nation learned that President Ford had lived in the house from 1923 to 1930, years that included his football-hero days at nearby South High.

Suddenly the VA was deluged with offers, despite the fact that in recent years the three-story house has become a victim...

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