June 06, 1977 12:00 PM

No one has yet suggested that Susan Ford join the Sweathogs for remedial education. In fact, the former First Daughter stoutly defends her decision to become the former First Freshman, dropping out of the University of Kansas midway through her first semester of journalism studies. “My practical work is more important right now,” says Susan of her plans to resume her photography career. “Eventually I want to finish my degree. But I was homesick for my parents, and it was hard on them too. Dropping out was a family decision we discussed together.”

Of course, Susan doesn’t deny that she’d cut so many classes that she might have flunked out anyway. “It was the first time she was ever really alone,” points out one pal. “She missed her family and friends.” The friend Susan supposedly missed most is 23-year-old Michael Hodgdon, a Georgetown University political science student and part-time bartender. He works at Gunchers, a lively Georgetown spot frequented by Susan and her girlfriends. “They say I sit at the end of the bar and look cow-eyed at Mike all night,” Susan protests. “This whole thing is a bunch of trash. Mike and I have known each other for two years and I’ve never even been on a date with him.”

But what about Hodgdon’s springtime visit to Kansas? “It was a last-minute thing,” Susan scoffs. “Can’t anyone do anything on an urge anymore? People even asked him where he stayed.” The worst of it, she groans, is that “several of my friends are girlfriends of Mike’s, and now they think something is going on.” Hodgdon himself attributes Susan’s return to Washington to “Potomac fever” and complains, “This whole thing has been a pain in the neck for both of us.” If nothing else, he’s learning the capital’s way of handling nasty rumors. “Susan and I,” Mike intones, “are just good friends.”

You May Like