Jack burst into the house after school.
“Mum! Is Dad around?”
“Well, aren’t you in a proper dither? What’s so important? Da is at the movie house, loading the new film for tonight.”
Jack put his books on the table and smiled broadly at his mom. “Mum, I’ve been invited to attend the Edison Institute!”
Margaret stared blankly.
“Mum, it’s a college here in Dearborn. Henry Ford’s school. I’ll get to learn all about engineering and mechanics! It’s invitation only. This is a big honor! I can’t wait to tell Da!”
“Henry Ford’s school? Isn’t that for rich folks?”
“Mum, my grades in physics got me the invitation. The
counselor said that it’s part work and part study. I can be an engineer at Ford!”
“That’s fine, son. You’ll have to speak to your da about it when he gets home.”
Still beaming, Jack went to his room to do his homework before changing into his usher uniform. He wasn’t finished when dinner was called.
“Robert, Jack has something he wants to talk to you about,” said Margaret as she passed the stew around.
“And what would that be?” Robert replied while cutting into a fresh loaf of bread.
“Da, I’ve been invited to attend the Edison Institute!”
Robert put down his fork.
“Isn’t that Henry Ford’s school?”
“It is. I’ve been invited to the college. Not many get invited. Very few. It’s a work and study program in engineering. I will learn all about automobiles and be offered an engineer’s job at Ford when I’m done. Mr. Ford takes great interest in the students. We even get to eat Friday supper with him!”
There was a heavy silence at the table.
“Jack, it’s not your place. We couldn’t even afford the dinner suits you would need. I’m sorry, but it’s out of the question. Those aren’t our folk. You’d be out of place.”
“I’m sorry, Jack. We need you at the movie house Friday nights.”
Jack sat in disbelief. He hung his head and then pushed himself away from the table.
“Not hungry. Think I’ll do a little more homework before going to work.” He abruptly got up and went to his room.
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