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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Manuel Ramos

Made in the USA

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

The older I become, the more I can appreciate some of the philosophies my father was passionate about in his life. Growing up in an immigrant household, my parents were not only older than many of my friends’ parents they were also old-school. When I say ‘immigrant’ that conjures up lots of ideas – so, I’ll break it down. Both sets of my grandparents were born in Europe and made the life-changing voyage to the U.S. to become Americans. My mom was born in my hometown in NJ and my dad was born in New England.

My parents were in their early 40s when I arrived in 1969 – so, growing up and having older parents was something I had to learn how to navigate. Being the baby of the family, my older brother and two older sisters paved the way for me to get away with most everything. Not that I was a bad kid, I just didn’t think the rules were meant for me. By the time I was high-school aged my parents were in their late 50s – older than I am right now – and I was given more freedom than any of my siblings. I took that in stride and respected some boundaries.

One memory that has bubbled up in my mind is the persistence that my father had for buying products made in the USA. At the time, I didn’t understand the importance, and quite frankly found it annoying. I didn’t think about the big picture as I didn’t have the worldly experience to appreciate his demand. I was confounded and just thought it was one of those ‘Dad’ things that had no validity for me.

Little did I know… I’ve arrived at that same ideology. Building our new home here in Michigan - from lumber to kitchen appliances - I’ve worked hard to seek out, research and buy products that are made in the U.S. From building materials to finishing products, working with our general contractor we have tried to buy as much locally as possible.

Creating my kitchen design and layout was a daunting task. I’ve never done it before and I knew I had one shot to get it right. As the layout was being configured, I had the task of sourcing my appliances. Here’s where my ‘Made in the USA’ need was paramount.

I have been following a 130 year old company in Pennsylvania called Blue Star that manufactures ovens and range tops. So when it came time to pick those big ticket items, I knew exactly what I wanted and knowing that I was contributing to the bottom line of a product made in the USA made all the difference. I wanted commercial grade cooking appliances and feel confident that Blue Star was the right choice.

Blue Star's powerful 22,000 BTU burners

Our refrigerator is being manufactured by a company that has been in business since 1945 and all of their products are made in Wisconsin and/or Arizona. Our washer and dryer brand is Whirlpool. The company was founded in 1911 in Benton Charter Township, Michigan and is still headquartered there.

Making the conscious decision to buy American-made is our choice and some might say, why does it matter? Knowing that I am supporting a business, its employees, and the myriad people around that purchase makes me very proud. I feel like I am holding out my hand for a virtual handshake and doing business as locally as possible.

I finally can appreciate that lesson my father was trying to teach me in his own way.

Thanks, Dad – I get it now.

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