Out of the Past

I’ve been gone so long, I need a maid to dust around here! I know you’ve been patiently waiting to hear about Suzy’s Motown Adventure, so here goes:

Arrived at the game so fashionably late that it was almost unfashionable. Plagued by traffic jams (2 out of 3 were construction; the third was an accident involving one of those huge trucks carrying cars, plus five other cars who all hit into each other) so bad that I just turned the engine off until it was possible to move again, my outstanding ability to get lost despite the simplicity of the directions, and the lack of parking spaces by the time I finally turned up at the stadium, I almost didn’t make it for the third straight year in a row. There was an inning and a half left by the time I found my dear Kathleen, whose hug forgave all.

To punish me, the Tigers lost the game, even though it was Kathleen’s birthday. But they gave her a lovely parting gift: a fireworks display!

To add insult to injury, my rental car was a Chevy Malibu. Not a cool Repo Man one, a bright blue hatchback which was hard to see out of the back of, which practically screamed “I’m not driving a Ford car in a Ford town! Haha!

The next day, Kathleen picked me up in her car (thankfully, a Ford), which turned out to be a time machine. We stepped out of her car and into the past.

Once through the gates of Greenfield Village, a man in period dress rides by on a penny-farthing cycle. Farm workers in the field use tools that are more than a century old. We ask directions of a lady in a sunbonnet with a basket over her arm. We see wool, clipped from sheep we saw on the farm, carded and made into yarn. We see glass being blown, prints being made, tin ornaments being made, all with traditional materials and tools. We get to ride in a real 1926 Model T, driven around the village like princesses for the princely sum of $4. I am enchanted.

The Village is one of Henry Ford’s (“Mr. Ford”, as he is always referred to) many brilliant ideas. He collected actual historic buildings, such as the Wright Brothers’ homestead, and transported them to an idyllic setting. He even moved Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park (the Joisey one, not the Sharks adjacent one) laboratory in its entirety. There’s a man who truly understood transportation. While in the laboratory, we heard Edison’s very first recording and saw the chair he had sat in when he recorded it. Mr. Ford had kept the chair in the exact place, at the exact angle, nailed into place on the original floorboards. No-one was ever allowed to sit in the chair again. Kathleen and I were both moved to tears by this tribute to a dear friend and fellow genius.

To be continued…