A wide range of people have purchased the book, with interesting stories. A very interesting one was Alan Malully, who emailed me that he appreciated the book and would be reading it on the plane. But the most interesting people were workers at the Sharonville Ford Plant, and members of their families.
There was the lady who said her father worked at the plant when it opened and retired 20 years ago. He can’t see well, at the age of 80, and his daughter read the book to him. He sent her back to my store to get it autographed, and thank me for telling the story of what Ford workers had to go through back in those years when they were hammered from both sides, management and the union.
Then there was the guy who said he was buying the book in honor of his Dad, who died a few years back, after putting in 30 at the Fairfax and Sharonville plant. His Dad never talked about his job, but everybody knew he worked it only because of the money that it paid, and hated to work at Ford. He went to the plant only once with his Dad, who told him two things. First he took him into the men’s room to show him the cardboard beds UAW guys made on top of commodes to sleep on company time. Then he pointed out a guy on a bicycle. He said the guy rode to one end of the plant, then had himself paged to go to the other end of the plant. When he got there he had himself paged to ride back to the other end of the plant. That way he always looked like he was busy and going somewhere in a hurry.
I cannot forget the email I received from a lady who worked for me. She was outraged that I would write that she was a prostitute who serviced men in her camper in the parking lot. I explained that I was not talking about her, and had written nothing about her in the book. She said “Oh, O.K. Other than that it was a good book and is pretty much how I remember things.”
I would be remiss not to mention a fellow that I worked closely with at Sharonville, and is still there, after 37 years. He has regular arguements with other UAW guys about the book, saying that the book is completely factual, as he can verify, because he was there, and the book is not about the people who work at Ford today.
One of the most moving book buyers was a man from Kentucky, about 90 miles south of the plant. His Dad is dead now. But he bought the book in honor of his father. I knew his father. He worked for me in Department 258. He was one of the best workers that I remember. He drove the hour and a half to Sharonville on Sunday Nights and rented a sleeping room. He worked at Sharonville all week, then drove back to Kentucky on Saturday morning, after the midnight shift. Then he worked his 150 acre farm with his two sons on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night he drove back up to Sharonville in time for the midnight shift. He did that for 28 years. Then he died. His mother received nothing from Ford because he had not made 30 years. He bought a book for himself, his brother, and his mother.