At the turn of the LAST century, four of America's greatest and most famous men struck up a strong friendship and became traveling companions:
Inventor Thomas Alva Edison
Naturalist John Burroughs, with the long white beard
Industrialist Henry Ford
Industrialist Harvey Firestone
Now, Ford and Firestone became friends through BUSINESS, as Ford cars were usually equipped with Firestone tires, but the inclusion of Edison, who was stone DEAF, and Burroughs, who was a dedicated Woodsman, inspired curiosity and wonder in all that knew them.
The four Caravan-ed across America, from Florida to California.
ROADS were being built at a breakneck pace in America, at the time, so Ford gathered his three friends to him and set out in his latest vehicle to explore each new route.
They hired a driver, and the four toured the roads of America, discussing whatever caught their interest.
In 1917, there was a new road completed that would take them HIGH into the Appalachians....
They stopped at a Gas Station on a lonely mountain road...
The driver, proud of his passengers, sought to amaze the laconic mechanic who was filling their vehicle with petrol:
You see the name on the CAR? You see that man on the RIGHT? That's Henry Ford! He invented CARS!
No response, no flicker of recognition from the mechanic.
You see the man NEXT to him? That's Harvey Firestone! He made those TIRES...!
No response from the mechanic, he just went on pumping gas.
You see that man next to him? That's Thomas Edison! He invented LIGHTS and ELECTRICITY!
The mechanic now began to pay attention...
You see the man next to him, the driver continued, pointing at BURROUGHS, THAT'S---
"Hold it! Hold it!" The mechanic shouted...
"If you tell me that's SANTA CLAUS, I'm gonna start a'runnin!!!!"