Hanging on my bedroom wall is a photograph that is remarkable, and  for several reasons: It is 10 by 40. It is almost 80 years old. It is of all the Ford Assembly Plant employees. It is in almost mint condition. And the faces of most of the several hundred employees are clearly defined. A sign of the time is that there is only one Black and four women in the picture. Another sign of the time is the number of hats in the hands of the men, mostly straw skimmer hats.

I am not sure of the exact date the picture was taken. It had to have been between 1924, when the plant opened, and 1932, when the plant closed. If the automobiles in the background are Model T Fords, it was taken before 1928. If they are Model A Fords, it was taken between 1928 and 1932.

The picture has special meaning to me. I spend a moment or two almost every day in front of it looking at the image of one man--my father, Arnold Lee Braddock Sr. He is on the second row, directly under the left end of the building. The image and three others I have of him compensate for the lack of all but a few vague memories I have of him. He died when I was five.

Another special meaning the picture has to me is the St. Johns River can be seen in the background. I very quickly learned to swim in that river at the age of six when some of my older cousins threw me off the potato docks, downriver a few blocks from Commodore Point.

Scroll  slowly to the right to view the photograph. Beyond the end of the photograph is an inset of my father and photo of how the Assembly Plant looks today.

J. G. Braddock Sr.

For an excellent pictorial web page
 of the Ford Assembly Plant, 




My father,
Arnold Lee Braddock Sr.

Ford Assembly Plant today, unused