I probably voted for Carter, my first Presidential vote also. Gerald Ford appeared to be a really nice guy and also seemed to be just a average guy that just happened to be President. (He did boost SNL ratings I believe)
I had the honor of caddying for former President Ford back in the late 70s; nice guy and a pretty decent golfer. He did the country a huge favor, in my opinion, by pardoning Richard Nixon...even though it would cost him the '76 election. Most youngsters don't know that he played football at Michigan, was a 13-term Congressman, and was the last surviving member who served on the Warren Commission - truly an amazing life.
While I did not vote for him back in 1976 and don't agre with him politically he was definitely a decent man who tried to restore honor to the office he held ina very difficult time. He aslso hada sense of humor about himself a characteristic we could all all emulate.
It is sad that for many young people, Gerald Ford is going to be remembered as the clumsy guy that Chevy Chase & SNL got huge ratings from. He was an outstanding athlete, not JUST a college football player as riffjim4069 mentioned, but a huge football hero in a day when college football was much bigger than the NFL. Because he was so active he occasionally took a spill while skiing etc.
Gerald Ford was an honorable man, who did what he felt was best for the nation, and the office of the president, despite what it did to his political career. He never asked to be president, but when asked, he answered the call. He became vice-president, and then president, because he was one of the few people that both Democrats and Republicans respected enough to enable his nomination to be approved by the Senate.
I voted for him as a Congressman, in the presidential primary, and for president.