Patriotism at its Height: Detroit Shop Owner Names Business after President
July 23, 2009

“If someone forgets the name Obama, something’s wrong with them,” says Terry O’Neal, the owner of Obama Auto Glass & Electric in Detroit.

O’Neal purchased a former Henderson Glass location in Detroit in October 2008, at the height of the presidential campaign. He immediately decided to re-name the business after the soon-to-be-elected president, even though the election had not yet been held.

“Win or lose, he was my man,” O’Neal said.

The shop includes several photos of the president hanging on the walls, and just the name, of course, draws attention to the business.

“A lot of people have come in and they take pictures of the sign,” he says. So far, he says he hasn't received any negative reaction to the memorable name.

He also thinks business has picked up in recent months.

“We definitely attribute that to Obama,” O’Neal says.

The business does auto glass work, along with some collision and electrical business.

Though O’Neal has spent much of his career driving trucks, he’s now been in the automotive repair business for 12 years. This is his second auto glass shop.

The first shop, Five Mile Auto Glass and Collision, closed about a year ago.

“Our sales were very, very slow. The location I was in prior to this was not great,” O’Neal says. “The economic hard times have hit a lot of people in that area.”

Unfortunately, even though O’Neal has found a better location and a new name, he still sees the effects of a downward economy.

“We’ve been hit so hard with the automotive industry and foreclosures,” says O’Neal. “Morale is kind of low in the city right now.”

He’s also in the process of authoring a letter to the president inviting him to visit his namesake auto glass shop.

“We could use a visit from a great man like that,” adds O’Neal.

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