Family tradition
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This family business celebrates
10th anniversaries in style

By Adam Brewton

I wake up at 4:45 in the morning, shake off the sleep and it’s straight to the kitchen for my pre-workout snack. By 5:00 I’m dragging the kayak to the slip and gliding across the lagoon. As I paddle through the morning mist, I like to imagine that I’m John MacGregor piloting the Rob Roy down the Thames. Normally my mind is clear during this time, but it’s hard not to be giddy with my new car waiting in the driveway.

At 6:15 I wake up my son. He’s 10 years old and school comes easy to him, but getting him ready for it is a daily battle. My wife and I take turns, and today is my day. I bounce between making lunch, reading work emails on my iPad, telling my son he cannot go to school dressed as Spider-man and catching bits of the morning news.

After I drop off my mild-mannered son at school, my commute to the office is much like my time in my kayak: It’s “me” time. Thanks to my new Chevrolet Impala, this half hour of my day has never been better. The available 305 horsepower V6 engine shuttles me along and makes on-ramp merging effortless, and yet it’s efficient* enough that I don’t have to stop for gas every three days. The available 11-speaker Bose stereo combined with my Pandora stations makes impromptu jam sessions a blast. And on days like today, when battling Spider-man’s mini-me keeps me from comprehending the world’s events, my satellite radio comes to the rescue. NPR, BBC News, MSNBC—it’s all available to me at the push of a button. When the commute is over, the supple and well-constructed seats deliver me rested and ready for the day.

Next to my family, my work is my life. My real-estate company was founded by my grandfather in 1957. He was a young man just starting out and he worked hard to build a successful business. It was important to him to treat every client as family. He never forgot a customer’s birthday and sent anniversary cards to celebrate move-in dates. On the company’s 10th anniversary, he bought himself a brand new black Impala. My father took the reigns in 1986, followed grandpa’s playbook to a “T” and, 10 years later, picked up a brand new 1996 Impala SS. Black, of course. I graduated from college in 2004 and immediately went into the family business. It’s been my job to keep us up to speed with the latest technology, while still remembering all my grandfather’s teachings.

After work, I shuttle my son and his buddies to baseball practice. Those three little guys are much smaller than the clients I drove to showings earlier in the day, but they mean everything to me. Although I’m alert, I’m glad to have the available Advanced Safety Package watching out for us, and 10 airbags** should the unthinkable happen. While I’m focused on the road, my son puts on MLB Network Radio so he and his friends can get psyched up for practice.

Watching him play, I can tell he has what it takes to be a star. The other dads have said so, too—it’s not just proud-parent syndrome. Man alive, he really is good. I appreciate that the car is understated enough not to distract from the action on the field. It doesn’t generate any of those awkward “so business must be good” conversations that some of its overseas rivals do.

As the boys pack up their gear, I feel a firm hand on my shoulder. It belongs to Mr. Fields, one of my father’s friends. “Has it really been ten years?” he asks with a nod toward the black beauty in the parking lot. Apparently the car is more noticeable than I thought.

After practice, my wife and I get ready for our double date at the theater. She looks amazing.

The sky is overcast. As I shut the car door and pull out of the driveway, I remember the dedicated umbrella pockets the salesman told me about. While I cross my fingers we won’t need them tonight, a call comes in from the couple we’re meeting.
The Bluetooth feature makes conversing safer since I can keep both hands on the wheel.

The pale moonlight coming through the available sunroof bathes my wife’s face in radiance. Glad those clouds made a hasty retreat. Out of the corner of my eye I can see her admiring the French stitching and burnished wood on the dash. She definitely approves.

As we pull into the theater parking lot, I see the other couple. Dad is driving Grandpa’s ’67 Impala. When I slide in next to them, I check out his expression. Oh yeah, he approves, too.

Family, tradition, and our business are very important to us, and I’m glad the Impala is a part of that.

The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.

Adam Brewton is the automotive contributor to Primer Magazine and currently serves as the supervisor of Student Services for Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama. His hobbies include adventure racing, anything involving the outdoors, and zombies. He spends his free time enjoying all these things with his wife and two dogs. Follow him on Twitter @adambrewton.

*EPA-estimated MPG 19 city/29 highway.

**Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.

See the Owner’s Manual for more information.



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