• Kristin Thompson

55 Years - A Classic Worth Preserving

Anniversaries are always a good cause for reminiscence and contemplation. When company president, Kevin Gjertsen, was asked to reflect on the past half a century of the family business and what it means to him, it was of no surprise that his ruminations focused on one very particular thing.

Family.

“It is no small thing to be celebrating this anniversary. Fifty-five years is not a small amount of time to be in business."

"When I was a kid, my Mom and Dad had a '55 Chevy Bel Air sedan. It was a big green and white beautiful car. I remember my parents up front, Mom holding our baby sister in her arms, while my other sister sat in the middle and us three boys rolled around in the back seat. Of course, there were no seat belts back in the day, so we would lay on the floor or up by the back window. I have so many good memories of that car. For years it was driven by my father and he kept all us kids in line if we started getting too rowdy in the backseat. The car was designed for a family; it was big with lots of room, sturdy and reliable and it kept us all safely within its smooth sturdy panels. Even with all seven of us in the car, there was still room for more people! However, as all things do, the car got older and was eventually replaced. Those were the days! However even today, the '55 Bel Air is an extremely sought-after car by collectors; even those who don't have warm, nostalgic ties to it like we do."

"So, what does this have to do with Kristian? Why does our 55th anniversary remind me of this classic family car? Well, it's simple. The car really does represent the founding of our company—what began as a reliable family vehicle has now become a classic with a history worth preserving. Although it was originally built during a time that looks quite different from the modern world we live in today – we see many similarities in the values it was built under – for carrying families safely from one destination to another. The ’55 Bel Air served to unite my family – shoved inside its metal frame – and all of those who rode with us along the way – as we grew older, grew wiser and grew together traveling around the prairies. It stands as the first building block in our tower of progress. While we do not drive the ’55 Bel Air today – our choice in vehicles has progressed to suit our new needs and incorporate new technology – it lives on as the foundation on which we stand. The dirt roads we drove on have been paved into highways, but today I still drive them with you – my family – all of us safely in the backseat – just like the Bel Air carried us – to our next destination."


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