Tag Archives: Ohio

Stand Up, America

It’s obvious that there’s a lot of turmoil going on in America right now. In the past few years, we’ve seen riots over race and officer-involved shootings, an extremely divisive presidential race, and a growing feeling that something’s just not right.

At Backyard Buddy, we’re proud to be a business that is keeping Ohio’s strong manufacturing tradition alive. We’re proud of our commitment to building our lifts and accessories using American-made raw materials assembled by American workers. But what we’re most proud of is what we all are: American.

One of the core, fundamental values of being an American is that we are all responsible to and for our country. We are all in this together. This is our country, and together with our fellow citizens, we will keep her strong and work to solve any problems that we run into along the way. This spirit has kept our country strong even through a Civil War that almost tore us permanently apart, and through all of the ups and downs over the past 240 years. Even though we are facing some tough issues right now, every one of us should be proud to be American, and committed to working together for our future, even if there are many different visions of that future.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way. This summer and fall, we’ve seen athletes from the NFL to high school teams, and even American Olympians taking a knee for the national anthem. While we respect everyone’s right to free speech, this is a deliberately disrespectful act and we cannot support those who do it. Our flag and our anthem are symbols of the rights and duties that each and every one of us has as an American, and disrespecting them is disrespecting all of us, especially the veterans who fought and died for everything these symbols stand for.

We understand that the people doing this may feel that they don’t have a voice, but they are wrong. Each of us has a voice. Our collective voice is heard every time we vote. Our individual voices are heard through a free press, and thanks to the internet, everyone can share their opinion with the rest of the country. If we want to commit to deeper change, any one of us can participate in local politics by attending and speaking at local government meetings, or even running for office. In most places, running for local elective office is far easier than people think, and often only requires that you be well-respected in the community.

One of the greatest things about being an American is that each and every one of us has the power to change our country, but none of us can do it alone. We can organize our neighbors to change a neighborhood. We can work with others to change an entire city. A select 44 of us have inspired their peers to be given the honor of helping change the entire country.

Instead of protesting the symbols of our country, those who want to change it the most should celebrate that they are given the opportunity to do just that. No matter how much you disagree with what may be happening, stand tall and proud that you are an American, and that you have the power to create the change you want to see.

A Visit to the National Packard Museum

You’re probably not surprised that most of us here at Backyard Buddy love cars, trucks, motorcycles, and just about anything else you can think of with an engine and wheels (and we’re not even all that strict about it having wheels). If you’ve read our site, you also know that we’re proud to be an American company that makes American products with American workers right here in Warren, Ohio.

What you may not know is that we’re not the first automotive enthusiasts to open a factory on Dana Street in Warren. All the way back in 1899, two brothers who had been manufacturing incandescent bulbs for a few years, James and William Packard (if you’re a car guy, you already know where we’re going with this), started to manufacture high-quality automobiles in a factory just down the street from where we are today. Packard Motor Car Company was one of the first American luxury car manufacturers, and before joining most of the auto industry in moving to Detroit in 1906, built its first few model years right here in Warren.

Within its first decade, Packard became the standard in American luxury, and was known for its sleek designs, powerful engines, and high-end features like air conditioning. Perhaps reflecting the company’s early history, the cars’ electrical system was so highly-regarded that Packard’s wire and lighting business was sold to General Motors and produced automotive bulbs and electrical components in Warren for decades.

Never a community to shy away from its industrial roots, Warren now celebrates Packard’s history through the National Packard Museum, located in downtown Warren, about a mile from our headquarters and the original Packard plant.

Located at 1899 Mahoning Avenue, the National Packard Museum is open from noon until 5:00 Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00 until 5:00 on Sunday. As you might expect, the museum features plenty of Packards, with more than 30 cars spanning the first production car in 1900 to a 1956 Packard Caribbean that marks the last of the “true” Packards (its last model years offered re-badged Studebakers). The museum also features Packard memorabilia, items from the electrical division, and an archives featuring original catalogs, sales items, and other documents.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum also features temporary and traveling exhibits. We love the current exhibit “What’s in Your Barn,” featuring 30 “barn find” motorcycles from 1939 to 1983. What’s really cool about this exhibit is that some of the bikes have been restored to showcase the hard work that it takes to turn “before” into “after,” but some of the bikes have been left unrestored (though cobwebs and mice have been removed, we think) and are in the sometimes-beautiful condition in which they were found.

If you’ve been thinking about coming to check out the Backyard Buddy showroom and need a little something extra to entice you, why not come see us and then visit the Packard Museum? We’re just a little over a mile apart, and will even give you the inside scoop about where to stop for lunch. For more details on the museum, go to http://www.packardmuseum.org/