I was seven years old the first time I ever set foot inside an automobile factory. The occasion was Family Night at the old Fisher Body plant in Flint where my father worked the second shift.
General Motors provided this yearly intrusion as an opportunity for the kin of the work force to funnel in and view their fathers, husbands, uncles and granddads as they toiled away on the assembly line. If nothing else, this annual peepshow lent a whole world of credence to our father's daily grumble. The assembly line did indeed stink. The noise was very close to intolerable. The heat was one complete bastard. Little wonder the old man's socks always smelled like liverwurst bleached for a week in the desert sun.