My mom has been an employee at Mercedes Benz US International for quite a number of years. When she asked me to be her guest for the company's GLE Celebration, I jumped at the chance to spend quality time with her as well as celebrate the accomplishments of her team and other MBUSI employees.

Many people know my mom's story, with being hit by a drunk driver.  What many don't know is that her accident occurred right after she'd completed training for Mercedes Benz US International. When the offer was made for her to join the team, she explained her situation; and she was told that after she recuperated and could walk unassisted, there would be a job for her in the company. It was a while before she made it to that point, but when she was ready, she went to work.

Since that time, she's had 3 hip replacements on the same hip, she's aided in getting many others hired, including my brother, her brother, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

I started thinking about this on a grander scale and realized MBUSI and its suppliers are responsible for a lot of the local economy in that many of our families are employed by these companies. This has led me to decide that my next vehicle will probably be a Mercedes made in Alabama.

Anyway, my mom told me that Mercedes would be hosting an event at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, and she asked me if I would be her guest. It's rare that ANYBODY asks me to be a guest of theirs. Normally, the conversation goes like this:

Person: Hey! Do you have tickets to (concert).
Me: Yeah.
Person: We should go together!
Me: *thinking* How are we going to be together unless we have seats together?  I'll let you know.

Of course, my +1 is usually my mom or my sister. I mean, why would I take anyone else?

So, when my mom asked me to be her guest, I jumped on the opportunity to enjoy a great evening with her and to see artists I'd never seen.

From the opener with Brooke Alford, artist of the violin, I was just excited to see what the evening had in store. I knew some of the artists expected to perform but I'd forgotten all about India.Arie and Robin Thicke! Don't ask me how. I just did!

Though I'd heard the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra at other city events, it was as if I'd heard them for the first time Saturday night. Seeing musicians I know and love putting their talents to use made the evening even more special.

When I say I had A BLAST!!!.....


Then, at the end of the night, the marching band from UAB came into the pit and surrounded a GLE that danced while the band, symphony, and artists performed "Sweet Home Alabama." I'm not sure if I've ever beamed with as much pride in my city or the work of my neighbors and family.

The GLE Celebration was phenomenal, and if I didn't love my job so much, I'd love to be part of a team making products desired across the globe.

With that being said, it's up to me to align myself with a plan to obtain one of the vehicles built right here at home. I'll probably still be driving a 2015 (Hey, I didn't say I was going to buy a new one! LMBO) in 2035, but at least I'll be able to say, "My mom/brother/uncle/aunt/cousin/neighbor had a hand in building this vehicle." And I'll hold onto it until I decide to get a 2025... Yes, a 2025 in 2035. Don't judge me!

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