Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England

Henry Ford's Offhand Way

Speaking of Henry Ford's purchase of a million dollars' worth of city bonds, Controller Engel said; 'He talked about buying those bonds exactly as I would talk about buying a sack of peanuts.' — News item.
There may be some of us who'd stop and scratch our heads awhile
Before we'd spend a million of our hardearned little pile;
And some of us perhaps might want to ponder on the deal,
To see the goods before we'd buy, to know that they were real,
I'm sure that I should hesitate and count once more my hoard
Before I'd write a check like that, but not so Henry Ford.
He merely yawned and stretched a bit, and then said : 'By the way,
A million dollars' worth of bonds, I guess, will do today.'

And some of us there are who might regret it all our lives
If we should do a trick like that and not consult our wives.
Before we'd spend a million bones I think we'd hem and haw
And then decide to wait a day and put it up to Maw.
'm sure I shouldn't spend that much upon my own accord,
I'd be afraid of what she'd say, but not so Henry Ford.
He just looked through the window at the autumn tints of earth
And said: 'Those bonds you spoke about. I'll take a million's worth.'

And some of us, perhaps, before we'd part with such a bunch
Would make the salesman take us out and blow us off to lunch;
We'd have him bowing down to us and tapping at our door,
And make him say a dozen times the things he'd said before.
I'm sure before he closed with me and captured his reward
I'd make him work a month or two, but not so Henry Ford.
He merely said, the while he flicked from off his coat a speck:
'Send up a million dollars' worth. I'll write you out a check.'

Who knows but what he thought about the song birds on the farm,
And looked away as though to see the trees in autumn's charm?
Perhaps he saw the pumpkins ripe and fodder in the shock
And watched a little feller who was driving home the stock.
While the agent's heart was beating he was calm as he could be,
But perhaps he saw a little boy with patches on his knee,
Years and miles away from business, in the town that gave him birth,
Who never dreamed he'd buy of bonds a million dollars' worth.
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