Friday, October 28, 2011

Congratulations! It's a Bouncing Baby Honda




Driving down I-95, south of Florence, SC, it’s easy to miss the white buildings along the interstate. They sit back a little from the zooming traffic. And if it weren’t for the water tower with Honda painted on it, you probably wouldn’t take note of them at all.


The Honda production facility in Timmonsville, SC, started out making all-terrain vehicles back in 1998. It started out producing about 50,000 ATVs a year. Today, with almost 600 employees, that number is nearly 300,000. They go by the names of Foreman, Rancher, Recon, Rincon, Rubicon and Sportrax.


But on April 12, 2011, the plant reached a milestone. The plant’s first 2012 Honda Foreman 500 rolled off the assembly line. But this wasn’t just any ATV. This was the first ATV to be designed and built at the South Carolina facility. It’s their first baby.


While the general public isn’t allowed into the delivery room at the plant in Timmonsville, they can check out the newborns in the nursery at a Honda dealer. They may even get the chance to adopt one.









Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fishing for Family


If there is a Heaven on Earth, for me, it’d be the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

About 30 years ago, my father and grandfather introduced me to the Outer Banks. It’s had a special place in my heart ever since. I don’t get out there as much as I’d like. Maybe once or twice a year if I’m lucky. And then it seems likes it’s just for work. As my father gets older, each trip we are able to make becomes more and more special.

Going fishing on the Outer Banks is not about catching fish. I’ve learned my lesson on that. If you go just to catch fish, chances are you’re going to leave disappointed. It’s all about the people you’re with and enjoying yourself.

As my grandfather got older, he wasn’t able to go fishing much anymore. When he did, he’d sit in a chair, holding a rod and enjoying the salt air. I could tell that fishing for him wasn’t about catching fish anymore.

After our last fishing trip together, he gave me one of his rods, a pair of waders and a tackle box.

Inside his tackle box was an array of lures, rigs and weights. Some of the lures were hand made, utilizing old knife handles. It looked like he stole some of my grandmothers flatware, cut the blade off the knife, drilled two holes in either end of the handle and attached a treble hook to one end; his homemade lure for catching blue fish.

I still have that fishing rod my grandfather gave me. I just had it rewrapped and am ready to hit the beach with it. The waders? Not so much. They finally developed a hole, actually more like a six inch gash, that just didn’t make sense to repair. There’s nothing quite like feeling cold seawater leaking into your waders and flowing down your leg.

Back in college, I remember going down to Hatteras Village, crossing the dune and fishing on the beach. Just me, my grandfather’s fishing rod and his waders. I managed to reel in a good-sized puppy drum that day. Fishing on the Outer Banks can be hit or miss. That day was definitely special. It was like my grandfather was looking over me.

When I got home, I went over to my grandparents’ house. My grandmother fried the fish for my grandfather and I. We sat down at the kitchen table and enjoyed every last bit of that puppy drum. It was the best tasting fish I have ever caught.