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At Henry Ford's 150th Birthday Party

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

Amid all the gloom in Detroit, some people were celebrating this weekend. It's the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. There was a big party at the Ford Stage in Dearborn, and people gathered there to remember the inventor who, by the way, was known for his passion for folk dance. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton sent us this audio postcard.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The dance we'd like to show you is the schottische. It's a one-two-three-hop, four-five-six-hop. And that's the barn dance schottische, as Henry Ford (unintelligible), taught it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIBELLY CEDRIC: I think it's such an honor to be here and look at everything that, you know, big man in history built.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And it's one-two-three-hop, four-five-six...

BILL FORD, JR.: And one of my great disappointments in life is I never did have a chance to meet my great-grandfather.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROSE RONDY: People realize at such a young age what he accomplished - got an education, did a tremendous job. Wasn't the nicest person in the world but I don't think he could have accomplished what he did if he was.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LISA SMITH: We came out today just to show the children of the importance of it being an industry here in the city of Detroit, especially with everything that's going on with the bankruptcy and things like that. So, I just wanted them to see something good for a change.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JACK BENNETT: I'm surprised that it's already been 150 years. I'm just thinking what it will be like when it's his 200th.

KATIE BENNETT: I'll be gone but I think he'll be driving something that's very, very sustainable. It'll be the fuels and the drive trains and that kind of thing of the cars that'll be different 50 years ago. There'll be just as fast, just as cool and just as fun to drive. But a lot more economical.

STAMBERG: We heard Sibelly Cedric(ph), Bill Ford, Jr., Rose Rondy(ph), Lisa Smith, Jack Bennett and his mother Katie Bennett reminiscing about Henry Ford on the occasion of his 150th birthday. You're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.