Ms. Ford’s Winter Wonderland

Ms. Betty J. Ford at 9 years old at a piano recital in 1945

Eccentric, talented, witty, and charismatic, Ms. Betty J. Ford is the Program Coordinator for Chocolate Storytime here at our home base, La Pintoresca Branch Library.  She schedules and books special talent, speakers, and guests for our story time.  This past January 11th, she turned 80 years old.  And while some may associate this milestone season of life with slowing down, Ms. Ford considers these years as part of her winter wonderland because, to her, age is just a number.  A classically trained pianist, Ms. Ford continues to travel around the city, volunteering where she can, helping to keep music, creativity and entertainment alive.

Ms. Ford is the talent agent for the community.  She assists with organizing special programs, which includes booking the young and old, students, special guests, community members, and local celebrities for music and public speaking events.  Brutally honest and a stickler for professionalism, yet inspiring and motivational, Mr. Ford enjoys coaching and rehearsing, helping performers memorize and theatrically recite poetry, oral presentations, and spoken word.  A prolific writer and eye for detail, Ms. Ford also has much experience in marketing, fundraising, and coordinating media coverage.

In addition to music, Ms. Ford is deeply involved in community service, advocacy, and volunteerism.  She frequently helps to raise funds for various groups and grassroots organizations through her creative branding.  An English major, Ms. Ford is also known for her creative writing, poetry, and songwriting.  She frequently writes for articles for newspapers and lends her technical proofreading and writing skills to numerous organizations.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Ms. Ford graduated from Point Loma High School in San Diego, California and from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and English.  At 6 years old, she began taking music lessons twice a week.  She was trained by her parochial school teacher, and at 7 years of age, was playing the pump organ for an 80-member Catholic church.  Ms. Ford also played for secular dances at the Catholic school programs, like the Polka, Irish Set Dance, and Virginia Reels.  For 29 years, under the leadership of Pastor Stuart York of Rosemead Christian Church, Ms. Ford served as musician.  For more about Ms. Ford, read her bio here.

Today, Ms. Ford continues entertain on the piano at various community events, including the Pasadena Senior Center as a volunteer.  You can still find her around the San Gabriel Mountains and beyond attending and helping to produce diverse social, community, and civic engagements.  Check out some of her most recent concerts on Youtube and listen to her prelude below to the 2017 Senior Competition of the George Robert Garner, III Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), of which she is a member, this past January.

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