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Edison & Ford Winter Estates: Part 5

In real-time, I am back in Florida, spending some quality time with my dad after my mom's death. He seems to be doing well with the companionship and love of his offspring (we're too old to be called "children"). I will be here two weeks then back to Phoenix for a day then off to Las Vegas for a Photoshop conference. In mid-October I'll be back to Florida to visit again while my sister and her husband take a much-deserved vacation.

Resuming the tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, we cross from Edison's property to Ford's only to encounter Henry Ford himself — or at least his status. As we all know, people dressed more formally in those days — do you suppose he typically wore suits and ties in Florida when he vacationed here?

The house — a very pleasing design to my eye — open and airy to allow the tropical breezes to cool the residents. This side faces the Caloosahatchee River. I suspect Ford, his family and guests would have loved to sit on this side of the house, indoors and out, and while away the hours.

Another view of his home — as seen from Edison's property. I included this shot just to emphasize that these were not palatial estates — nice but not huge.

The living room. I recall from my Florida days during the 1960s that South Florida would occasionally experience a winter frost. Therefore the fireplace would actually be quite welcome on those chilly evenings.

And did you notice the gramophone in the living room? This was, as you might guess, a gift from Edison. I suspect it would have been the center of entertainment both for the pleasant music and for the novelty.

Of course, you must have a kitchen — even multi-millionaires get hungry. The item I noticed first was the old refrigerator standing at the right edge of the photo. I wonder if it still works.

This is a bedroom for an employee. Also modest but comfortable.

Here we encounter the nursery area of a main bedroom. I love the little rocking chair — which reminds me of a similar (but non-rocking) chair I had as a child — not that I remember using it but seeing it used by my younger sisters when they were small. Ours converted into a high chair — and it looks like this one might as well.

What would a Ford Estate be without Ford automobiles. This is a coupe from about 1934. Notice the greyhound hood ornament — it wasn't just the expensive cars that had those at the time.

And here is the rear end of the same care. Style!

But I love this old Model T Ford truck. It would be delivered without a cab or bed. The owner would then employ a local cabinetmaker to construct those on the truck chassis.

Immediately next to the Model T truck was a Model A Sedan. For some reason this car makes me think of the old TV show, The Untouchables. Can't you just see some of Capone's gang members tooling around shooting their Tommy guns out the windows to terrorize Chicago?

We conclude our tour with the caretaker's cottage — which has been turned into a souvenir shop. Henry Ford would be so proud.

It was a great tour — my dad and I certainly enjoyed the visit. If you're in the Fort Myers area, check it out for yourself.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com