The Last Years
of the Flivver King
John McIntyre, a Scottish immigrant, worked a quarter-century operating
the powerhouse on the Fair Lane estate, a position that made him privy to
the daily lives of Henry and Clara Ford.
Edsel and his father seemed to be very great pals. Whenever I saw them around, they appeared to be real friendly. I never saw them argue or anything like that. When Edsel Ford was ill, that was when I saw Mr. Ford drop back himself. After Edsel died, I met Mr. Ford on the path going up into the kitchen, and I wasn't six inches from him; he walked right past me and looked down at the cement. He didn't even see me. It just seemed to me that his mind was on the boy, and he was gone. When the boy left, it just seemed to take something out of him.
Many years earlier, I dug a basement for Mr. Ford and put all the drains in over there in what they called the old plumber shop on the Fair Lane estate. He used to come down there every morning between 7:30 and 8. He'd come back at lunch time and also before we would go home. He seemed to be very interested in this old plumber shop. There was a kitchen in it, a cooking stove and a refrigerator. Mr. Ford used to speak to me quite a bit down there. I used to say, “Oh, the mosquitoes are awful, Mr. Ford!”
He'd say, “Keep working; you'll chase them away.”