Oc­to­ge­nar­ian still in busi­ness af­ter 50 years

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Front Page - By Danielle Vaughn

Even af­ter 50 years in busi­ness and reach­ing 87 years of age, Alamo Ford, owner of Alamo Ford Auto De­tail­ing Ser­vice in Lodi, doesn’t plan to re­tire any­time soon.

“I won’t stop work­ing be­cause I was al­ways taught to work hard,” he said.

Ford is a one-man show do­ing what he en­joys best.

“I do it by my­self. I’m not rushed and my cus­tomers give me plenty of time to do the work,” he said.

Ford says he con­sid­ered re­tir­ing in the past but in an ef­fort to re­main ac­tive and keep busy he de­cided to keep the busi­ness go­ing. If it had not been

“I won’t stop work­ing be­cause I was al­ways taught to work hard.” ALAMO FORD, OWNER OF ALAMO FORD AUTO DE­TAIL­ING SER­VICE IN LODI

for his cus­tomers, Ford said he would not have been able to stay open as long as he has. Their pos­i­tive feed­back is what has kept him go­ing, he said.

“I thank the cus­tomers and the pub­lic and ev­ery­one that has called on me in the past, and I’m grate­ful that I have had the ex­pe­ri­ence to stay open this long,” he said.

Ford’s ca­reer in car de­tail­ing be­gan when he was in high school. Af­ter work­ing for a car wash on Chero­kee Lane, in 1967 Ford de­cided it was time to open his own de­tail­ing busi­ness.

For more than 40 years he re­mained at his ini­tial lo­ca­tion at 600 N. Sacra­mento Street. For a brief twoyear pe­riod he moved to 227 E. Pine St., be­fore re­turn­ing to his orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion. Eight years ago he moved to his cur­rent lo­ca­tion at 20 W. Lock­e­ford St.

Over the years he has seen sev­eral car deal­er­ships and other busi­ness come and go, but he was able to re­main in busi­ness. He’s also seen car makes and mod­els get dis­con­tin­ued and oth­ers evolve over the past five decades.

Nowa­days Ford said he only does one or two ve­hi­cles a day, but back when he first started the busi­ness and had help he was de­tail­ing at least five in one day.

Even though the pace has slowed down, Ford said he is proud that he is still able to work by him­self. He plans to keep go­ing un­til he un­able to do the work.

De­spite the sev­eral changes in the in­dus­try over the years, Ford said he man­aged to keep up with the times, and do­ing so has kept the busi­ness thriv­ing.

Ford, who re­sides in Stock­ton, is a fa­ther of eight and grand­fa­ther of nine. Ford’s chil­dren have been very sup­port­ive of him and his busi­ness. At one time they helped him at the shop be­fore go­ing of to pur­sue their own ca­reers.

In his spare time Ford en­joys tap danc­ing and lis­ten­ing to mu­sic.

“At one time I was Stock­ton’s best tap dancer,” Ford said. “I just love tap danc­ing.”

BEA AHBECK/NEWS-SENTINEL

Alamo Ford at the Lodi car de­tail­ing busi­ness in Lodi on Fri­day.

BEA AHBECK/NEWS-SENTINEL

Alamo Ford at his Lodi car de­tail­ing busi­ness in Lodi on Fri­day.

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