December 22, 1923, Ford News featured a story of the true Christmas spirit demonstrated by the employees of Sacramento, CA, dealer. It is, said Ford News, “a narrative of the big hearts to be found beneath the grease-soiled jumpers of garage mechanics.”
The essence of the story involved a battered Ford car, which was wrecked by an elderly man while passing through to San Jose to visit his sole surviving relative. The old man crawled out from under the wreck and figured he would have to walk the rest of the way. The wrecking crew from the Ford agency picked up the car and brought it down to the shop. The verdict was that it would take $150 (a big sum in 1923) to put the car back on the road, an amount the man did not have. The mechanics guess “maybe if they would give him a few dollars for the wreck he wouldn’t have to walk to San Jose.”
The next morning, without any previous arrangement, the mechanics turned up on the job early and started in on the wreck. One man supplied a radiator, others different needed parts. After a few hours, they completed the rebuilding, filled the tank with gas and sent the old man on his way with a fond wish for “a happy Christmas in San Jose”.
This story came to light as I was looking for something (Ford/Inspiring/Giving) to read for our Christmas Pot Luck but it is what happened next that makes me cry with joy….as I read the story to my Service Manager and a Service Advisor, they both had a similar story that had been carried out by our own mechanics with no fanfare. One, an elderly couple on a fixed income that needed new brakes & rotors, they did not have the resources for the repair so they declined the brakes – knowing they could not leave with brakes in this unsafe condition the mechanics in our shop came in on their own time made the repair and purchased the parts – leaving only the oil change to be paid for by the couple. Two, a ex-military family that truly were living in their Ford Expedition with tires and brakes completely unsafe for their trip to California where the dad had been offered employment…Again, our technicians took care of a family that was in a difficult place.
We have always been proud of our technicians for their technical ability and training but their hearts came “filled with giving” no training needed. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Gresham Ford.