AKRON (Aug. 27, 2013) — I suppose you could say it was fated.
No, I'm not referring to Lindsay Lohan's endless cycle of rehab and relapse or recent reports suggesting that the National Security Agency's claims of adherence to strict ethical guidelines are about as valid as Lohan's claims of sobriety — both ought to be taken with many grains of salt. (Interestingly, I hear this is also how Miss Lohan prefers her margaritas.)
I'm talking about my entry into the tire industry. I joined Tire Business as a reporter in 2007, not out of an inherent love for tires, but quite simply because I needed a job. I was fresh out of college with a shiny, new journalism degree, and being picky wasn't an option. I knew then that my own family had its roots in rubber, but at the time I wasn't aware of (or overly concerned with) the details.
But recently my attitude has changed. With each passing year, my appreciation of this industry grows. More so than many others, the tire industry is a family affair. For many of the people who are part of it, selling tires isn't just a job — it's a lifestyle. Quite a few of them were born into the business and continue to sell tires in one form or another from generation to generation. If someone in the industry doesn't know you, chances are they know your dad.
It's only natural that such a tight-knit group of people would have a strong appreciation for, and a desire to preserve, their history—their family's history, their company history and the history of the industry as a whole. And in covering this industry for the last six years, I became motivated to learn more about my own family background.