When I met Henry Ford on the river boat in Brazil, I knew he'd been dead for more than forty years. But I'd been in the jungle for two months—riding boats on the rain-swollen rivers of the Amazon the whole time, and I wasn't compelled to question the authenticity of his story.
Besides, authenticity was what I was having trouble finding. That's why I had set off for South America with a backpack and a vague plan to find Fordlandia, Ford's failed rubber-tree plantation in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
You see, I didn't want to be another tourist. I didn't want to sit in hostels with Israelis and Australians imagining how adventurous we were all being. I wanted authenticity. I wanted something that didn't feel like practice or play-acting. I wanted adventure.
So I went to find Henry Ford's ghost town—the one that wasn't in the guidebooks or on anyone's itinerary.
What I found I wish I could have left in that jungle. But Henry Ford wouldn't let me. "You wanted to discover what authenticity was," he said. "And now it's yours to keep."
Ok, so shoot me, it violates half of everything I've been yapping about non stop for 578 posts.
It's also a pretty damn good hook.