At Ford, Stan Drall saw it all

Longtime Ford PR man Stan Drall started work as a typist at Ford in 1942, the day before the company stopped making cars and shifted to military production.

Over the next 53 years he had a front-row seat to watch the people and events that made history at Ford. Drall, who died last week at 87, was well-known to the media, celebrities and VIPs as the man who could arrange a company vehicle for test drives. He also was known for his skills as an event planner. Ford President Lee Iacocca tapped him be the planner for Al Kaline Day at Tiger Stadium in 1970.

Long before he moved to public relations, Drall's first job was as a typist at the executive offices in Dearborn, Mich. Anyone going to or from the executive offices had to pass his desk, so he observed and occasionally spoke with Henry Ford.

Drall told Automotive News in a 2003 interview: "I can remember hearing him talk as he and Edsel Ford walked to the executive offices. Once he was with Charles Lindbergh, who was talking about the company's help with the war.

"Henry Ford touches me on the shoulder and says to Lindbergh, 'I'd trade it all for what he's got.' Of course, I was 18, and he was 78."

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