My wife works as a home health nurse. She just received a new client. She showed her a photo of my Model T and she told my wife that she saw those car being built. The client is a 97 year old female and claims to have worked as a secretary with Henry Ford. She told my wife that she knew Henry Ford personally. I did some simple math and if my calculation are correct she would had born in 1919. Given that this was before child labor laws were in effect it was not unusual for very young people to work in factories in that era and it's very possible that maybe she could had worked there during the transformation from Model T to the Model A phase. My wife is trying to set up an interview for me so I can ask her some questions about her time at the factory.
What I would like from you all is some questions that I should ask her. Now remember, She worked in an office and not on the factory floor. Im hoping that she will allow me to video the session and if so I will post it here.
So, What would you guys like me to ask her?
I highly doubt she was there as an eight year old, maybe eighteen - twenty, after some schooling to be able to be a secretary at that high level. So the time period would be the late thirties to early forties or the last years Mr Ford worked and had his full health. The controversy with labor unions in 1937 is well known - must have made an impression if she was there by then. Maybe it's best to make her comfortable and let her speak whatever she remembers from the past 75+ years ago.
Have you read any books about the Ford history during that period?
The relationship between Henry and Edsel would be interesting to hear about from someone who witnessed them. Also for how long she was there - and what happened within the company when Henry II took over - if she stayed that long.
Ask her how tall Henry was. Based on the size of these cars I'm guessing about 4' 11"
Will, ask the lady if she ever met Harry Bennett, and if so, what she thought of him.
Asking her if she met Edsel, and Henry II.
Did Harry Bennett ever beat her up?
That's probably going to be the funniest thing I'll see all day. Thanks!
Too smart for that. Probably got one of the "boys" to do it.
I would ask her to describe Henry's personality. I think we know very little about what he was like personally, and it would be interesting to hear her perspective.
Maybe she would comment on the rumored relationship with Henry and his personal secretary? IF she's willing to talk about that kind of stuff. Getting to hear what Henry et al were like as people would be the most interesting stuff you could get from her. Production numbers etc. are documented. The human side of the story, not so well. Great opportunity!
Will - A "good opportunity for sure! To add a bit to what David D. just said, if the 97 yr. old lady is still pretty sharp mentally, sometimes people of such an advanced age will tell you things about people that they would not have even considered discussing when they were just a few years younger. There are those that think that we tend to "mellow"with age;.....well, I'm starting to think that that's not it at all,...... maybe it's that we just simply don't give a rip anymore! Ha, ha,.....harold
Regarding Henry's height, if you ever get to the triple E engineering building where his office has been turned into a shrine, go to one of the pillars in the open area of that area & you'll see a place on the pillar that has been covered over with plexigass. On it shows where Henry & several other engineers marked & signed their heights on the pillar.
Knowing the lady's daily routine of coming & going & the types of work she did would be interesting.
Find out if she attended the Detroit High School of Commerce. They had a great secretarial program there until the 19602.
Try to find out if she worked at the Engineering Laboratory on Oakwood or the Headquarters on Schaeffer.
I heard a few stories from Betty McGuran Sullivan who has since passed on. She worked upstairs in the lab building and blew by Mr. Ford's car.
Any pictures, letters or other documents?
I agree with Royce. See if she can describe what Henry was like. His personality seems to be so hard to pin down.
Because of HIPPA Im not allowed to go to her so I have asked my wife to do the questioning, Here are some questions that my wife asked,
How well did you know Henry Ford. Her answer> When I worked in the blueprint office I would see Mr Ford quite often. Once in awhile he would bring us ladies flowers for are desks. He was a very sweet man but there were times that you could see that he was very upset. I remember he and another gentleman got into a screaming match in another room. All at once things got very quiet, We all knew better to ask what happened.
Mr Ford truly missed his son Edsel, There were times we would see him crying. We all felt bad but he would not let us leave are stations to comfort him.
We always thought it odd that Mrs Ford never came in the office. In all the years I worked there Mrs Ford never came by.
I remember once in awhile Charlie Lindbergh would stop by. One time he asked me to bring him some coffee into a top secret room, He met me at the door and I saw a large airplane in there. He told me to never tell anyone what I saw in there.
I Mr Bennet would come by once in a while, He was a mean vile person and scared me to just see him. He never talked to anyone but had a stare that would cut right through a person.
When WW2 started most all the men left the plant and us woman did most of the work. It made it hard for us single woman to meet men as there wasn't any. As for the married woman it was even harder, Almost everyday we would help comfort someone who had lost her husband. It was a very sad time for all.There were a few women that lost their husbands that committed suicide. It was a very difficult time for woman back then.
That's all I got for right now guys, Hoping to get more next week.
I wondered about HIPPA (My wife worked in home health care and is a CNA now). However, she can ASK you to see her--this has to be done carefully though--my wife once almost got in trouble when I went to see an old friend who was in the hospital. Fortunately he had asked her if I could come visit him, so that was considered OK. The world is going crazy!!
Rainy day here in the Northeast, so spent time on the computer:
"Did Harry Bennett ever beat her up?"
Well, that's just rude, if she awoke before he did, what difference does it....oh, I see, never mind....
My own wife is a home health AID, the people really down in the trenches of personal care. She's a tough sumbitXh in some ways.
I know the drill about HIPPA yet hope you'll get much more info from this client. True. :-)
This information is absolutely priceless. Our older people have much to tell us about the way it was thru their eyes. AND a (once) Ford employee? Uff Da.
Wow! What great information! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for posting this Will, brilliant info.
I'm sad for my profession that this client is having her personal business posted on the internet by the husband of her caregiver. There are ethical ways for the caregiver to encourage the client to share her story. This is not one of them.
Eric Hylen, RN
Neither her name or address are given, so there's little risk for anything to come out of this that could be harmful for her, I'd think?
Or what's the ethical way, Eric?
Wow, Really Eric? As Rodger said, No names or address. This is information that was voluntarily given, She could had told this to anyone at the grocery store
Mr Copeland, ask your wife about HIPPA violation. Eric you are right on. His wife could lose her license for this violation.
Will I stand corrected. If know names are used or given, should have kept my nose out of it, being married to a home health manager I hear of these things all the time. Hope you forgive me. Sam
Yes, really. Nursing is one of America's most respected professions because we regard patient rights as sacred. That means that we do not disclose our client's personally identifying information.
From the information that you've posted, I know that there is a 97 year old female home health client, living in or near West Melbourne, formerly lived in or near Detroit, that may be a good target for fraud. A little digging on the internet should turn up a name fairly easily. The perpetrator could use an interesting Model T cover story to gain access. This is why we just don't talk about our clients.
I hate to continue this since it is off topic but Eric it is even easier to find out your personal information. That does not mean that it is ok to divulge information about someone without their permission. It just means that some laws are a disguise to make us feel safe but in reality don't really help much.
Thanks Will. Very interesting for sure. Henry had a series of strokes in later life and it had to be terrible to lose his only child. His later life had to be very sad.
Thomas, you're right. If it takes you more than five minutes to find out my address, phone number and how much money I made per hour I made at my last job, you're not very internet savvy. But, you'll be hard pressed to find information about any of my clients.
Go to nursingworld.org and look up the Nursing Code of Ethics. Section 3.1 should help you.
Well, I did go to the site and read the citation. It mostly pertains to the medical issue privacy. The area of interviewing someone about their work life, especially historical documentation isn't mentioned. By not divulging the name, etc. Will has protected private information. The patient appears to be willing to talk about her work past. Now Will might want to have that agreement in writing, either by the patient or by her assigned power of attorney.
BUT!!! I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV!
I understand Eric's concern, and I do share it, but I think there is a work-around. It would be a shame to lose this verbal historical record.
I have a tendency to surround myself with the elderly because they are living history. Many of the actual accounts of their lives I have received from them are things that are not written in the history books and in some cases what is in the history books is wrong. When we lose a person that lived in a time that most of us can only read about is a part of American history that is lost forever. I find it a crying shame that because of a person conviction to a modern certain rule the rest of us lose the actual living of accounts of history happened many years ago. Maybe Mr. Hylen is right but now because of his political beliefs the rest of us will lose. I will keep this ladies historical factual comments to myself and not share with anyone.
On a side note Mr Hylen, This is Florida, Good luck on finding one elderly woman. There are countless 1000's
Will, Do write them down, or have your wife record them. Once she has passed, no one will have the record. I still think there is a work-around on this. And, as I've said, the 3.1 talks about health and contact privacy, not stories about one's youth.
An all or nothing "throw the baby out with the bathwater" approach doesn't seem right for this.
Ford's history people, or the Benson Ford Research Center, would probably have the resources to get this properly recorded, attributed, and put into context just as was done with the "Reminisces" of Ford employees made years ago.
If it's the right thing to do, find the right person, offer her a phone number to call, and step away from it. The end product would be better than a lot of anonymous third-party forum posts and potentially keep those caught in the middle out of hot water.
Will, Fastening reading; thanks for sharing.
I certainly can't see how any privacy laws were possibly violated with what has been divulged. I also can't say I'm at all surprised with the objections considering.
We all loose further insight into first had account about history of common interest.
If she were my client, I would ask her if she wants to share her story and if she does, provide her with contact information for a local newspaper or Model T club. That way, I'm empowering her to share her story if that's her wish. But, I'm not making the choice for her and I'm maintaining my professional relationship with her. Sharing any information about her with people in my life, whether they find her story fascinating or not, serves the interests of myself and my friends, but is not necessarily serving the interests of my client. My duty is to my client, not my hobby.
I work in mental health, where societal stigma often causes patients to be very private about their care. In this environment, we are very focused on providing an environment of trust, where patients can be open about their symptoms without fear of privacy breaches.
I'm sorry if I sound too rigid; I just don't feel that this has been the proper way to get this elderly woman's story out.
"I would ask her if she wants to share her story..."
Maybe that's what was done. Will has not specified just how the woman was approached about sharing her experiences, which apparently she initiated on her own.
"...provide her with contact information for a local newspaper or Model T club"
That's essentially what Will's wife did.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act (HIPAA) Only refers to health and medical
payments status. There are four parts and
the other three deal with electronic data only.
Otherwise medical professionals couldn't mention
that a co-worker drove a mustang. It is really
upsetting when someone who is ignorant of the law
quotes it to make themselves feel important. No
one has to "empower" this lady to share her story.
Let the women share her memories and be glad that
she still can. I personally enjoyed the details
and would hope that you will forward my thanks to
her for doing so.
I read the answers she gave and I'm trying to figure out where she worked. There was no place in the Engineering Lab that could have housed a large airplane. I'm wondering if this lady was working in the offices adjacent to the airfield, now the test track where some of the Stout designs were housed.
Maybe Willow Run?
What about that little blue plane with the Ford logo on the side that hangs from the ceiling in HF Museum? Did she maybe see that? It's a very small plane and could have fit in a subsequently small space.
Hope Will has the opportunity to help her share more of her memories with us. Thanks Will!
Thanks Norman! I was wondering how her work history got to be a medical story!
My wife, who is a CNA and was a home health care worker agrees that Will has not divulged any information on this person that would violate HIPPA. Carry on Will! Yes, one could dig deep and find this person, MAYBE, but so could a neighbor!
There is a magazine that my wife and I subscribe to called "Reminisce" that we particularly enjoy, and, knowing that many of us Model T "nuts" and forum members seem to share many common interests, I'm betting that there are many that are familiar with the magazine that I'm talking about. It just occurs to me that among the large editorial staff that is listed inside the front cover of the magazine are people (including "GENERAL COUNCIL") that would know all about the "issues" being discussed here within this thread. FWIW,.....HAROLD
I had a talk with my wife company head, They said as long as I don't mention any names, or addresses or personal information it should be fine as long as she is ok with the questions about her work past at the Ford company. She's not feeling well today so my wife will see if she wants to chat more tomorrow if she is feeling better.
AH!! Resolution!! Thank you Will for taking this on!
Matthew messed up her home so she has been very stressed with the repairs. It's hard for her to understand that 100's of other home received damage also and why her home is not being repaired right now.
Scotty McCreery's song – “In Color” says it all. This is the reason I listen very hard to the elderly.