Archive for the ‘2014’ Category
I’m a car lot kid. Actually, I’d like to claim that I’m the first of the Liberty car lot kids. I do have older brothers, but they were already in school when Liberty opened. I came to work with my mom in the morning and stayed with her in the office until she had to get my brothers after school. There have been many, many car lot kids over the years. Jessica and Esthela brought their baby boys to work with them, and now those boys are in Middle School. I brought my twin girls to work with me, and now they’ve started preschool.
Still, I maintain that I’m the original car lot kid. I was one year old when Liberty opened at 810 Little York in an old Fina gas station. I remember flashes, just snatches of memory from those early days. I remember eating sugar cubes when no one was looking. I remember pushing two office chairs together to make a cot when I was ready for a nap. I remember riding with my dad to exotic places like Cleveland and Huntsville, so we could buy cars at good prices to stock our inventory. I remember sitting beside my dad in musty offices and watching him negotiate the best prices for the rough, old cars they were trying to sell him. I remember stopping my dad from buying a car, because it had a rust hole in the side as big as a man’s fist that just happened to be eye level with my 4 year old eyes. I remember watching my dad and Luciano, our mechanic, re-tarring the roof of our office after Hurricane Alicia ripped it off. It’s one of my earliest, clearest memories, those two men, a drum of steaming hot tar, the sun beating down on them.
I always understood how the food got put on the table, how the clothes got on our backs, because I saw my father mopping blazing tar across our roof when I was just three years old. I understood that this was all about more than cars or money. Liberty means so much more than that. To me, it means that no job is too hard or too dirty if it’s my job to do. For the Liberty family, it’s something created from nothing, nurtured by hard work, sacrifice, and faith. It means putting good people in good cars; a mother putting her new baby’s car seat in her Ford Edge, a man hoisting his tool box into the bed of his Dodge Ram, a graduate driving his Chevy Malibu to his first job, a smiling couple driving their Jeep Cherokee to the beach, a woman putting down her hard-earned money and then driving home in her sparkling Chrysler 300. Liberty, that’s what it means; protection, self-reliance, independence, freedom, success. Liberty means something different to everyone. I’d love to hear what it means to you: the freedom to pile your friends in the car and go on a road trip, the ability to take your grandma to a doctor’s appointment, the power to open the door to your perfectly detailed car for your girlfriend, hand her a rose, and take her on a nice date. Tell me, what does Liberty mean to you?
I love cars. Avery tells me this every day. My two year old daughters love cars. They insist on looking at pictures of them online, especially red ones. When Lily sees the Liberty star, she says “Pa.” She loves to wear her shirt with the Liberty star on the front and her name on the back. Not a day goes by without them asking me to take them to the car lot. When I tucked my girls in last night, they each brought a toy car to bed with them. My little darlings are car dealers before they can even tie their shoes. It’s in their DNA. I love being a part of a family business.
When people see our Liberty star logo and hear the name of our business, they guess that the name Liberty was chosen to hearken to a patriotic spirit. That assumption is not completely accurate. My dad, Jerry Baker, opened Liberty Autos in 1981, when my big brothers were just 4 and 6. Night after night, they would beg my dad to read a picture book to them about Paul Revere. They loved this book so much because my dad would read the final line of the story with such excitement, “Paul Revere was riding, riding, riding to LIBERTY!!” When it came time to choose a name for his new business, my dad asked my brothers what it should be. They’d shout LIBERTY! The name turned out to be a good fit, because my dad always felt a strong connection to the Bible verse Galatians 5:1:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
As Christians, we believe that Christ has made us free from our past, free from our failures, free from the wrong turns we’ve made along the way. Because of Jesus, we wake up to a new day every day. Through God’s love, we get up and give it our best!
I love that our business is named liberty. It means something different to everyone. To some, it means the freedom to choose your future. To others, it means leaving the past behind and starting fresh. And to others still, it means the chance to walk through life on even footing with everybody else in the world. Come to us for your next car and find the Liberty you’ve been searching for.
Liberty has done very little advertising over the years. It’s truly amazing what word of mouth and repeat customers have done for us. Our customers like our cars and the way we treat them. We’re so grateful that they share their Liberty experience with their families and friends and keep coming back year after year. A few months ago, we decided to make a T.V. commercial to get the word out about our four locations. We chose to work with Estrella TV, or channel 61 in Houston. They would direct the commercial and even provide the talent! We just had to stand in a group and say one sentence on cue. Los Esperamos aqui en Liberty! Or We’re waiting for you at Liberty! What we learned that day is that making commercials is hard. It took us at least 2 dozen attempts to get our one line right. The professional who did all the rest of the talking did an amazing job. I watched him before filming and wondered to myself what was this guy going to do! He was quiet and kept to himself, but when the camera came on, El Vaquero went to work! I guess that’s why he’s a professional T.V. personality, and we are not. I think we’ll stick to the car business and leave the commercials to the stars.