Tuesday, February 26, 2019

National Women's History Month: 5 Women Who Changed the World

BAY CITY, Mich. -- March is National Women's History Month, and we at Graff Bay City are celebrating by giving you a weekly dose of girl power all month long! To kick it all off, here are 5 extraordinary women who changed the world!


While Neil Armstrong called the successful Apollo 11 mission "one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind" as he took the first human steps on the moon; it was actually a woman who made it possible for he and co-pilot Buzz Aldrin to land safely on its surface. In this famous photo, Margaret Hamilton stands next to the tower of ultra-meticulous code she wrote for the historic lunar lander's onboard flight computer; which included ingenious contingency protocols that both brought system errors to attention and enabled the software to compensate for them to avoid catastrophe. Her groundbreaking work earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Not only did Margaret Hamilton send humanity to the stars, but she also established the entire field of software engineering (even coming up with the name). All the apps you use on your phone, the intricate systems within your vehicle, and any smart devices you might have at home exist today thanks to her!


A mother of four and manager of a farm in Mouse Creek, Tennessee, Febb Burn would go down in history as clinching a historic win for feminism. On August 18th, 1920, her son Harry, also a representative of the Tennessee General Assembly, was about to vote on the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If passed, women would be given the right to participate in all local and national elections. If vetoed, it would be years before the subject was ever brought up again. At the time, the country was in a stalemate on the issue, and the vote from Tennessee would be the tie-breaker.

While she knew that the state Senate would vote in favor, Febb knew that the House would be close and that Harry's vote would be the one to tip the scales. Before seeing him off to his duty, she sat her 24-year-old son down on her porch and passed him a sweet, motherly note urging him to "be a good boy" and vote in favor of women's suffrage. When the time came to vote, holding his mama's letter in his pocket, Harry voted "aye" so quickly and unexpectedly that it shook everyone in the room. When confronted about his decision by those in opposition, he simply replied: "a mother's advice is always safest for a boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."


As the Civil War ravaged the United States, Clara Barton, like many other women at the time, did her part to help by collecting bandages and other much-needed supplies to send to Union troops out in the field. However, she felt that there was still more she could do, so she quit her job as a typist and made way for the frontlines. Throughout the conflict, Barton was present at every major battle in Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia; tending to the wounded and earning the nickname "Angel of the Battlefield". After the war, she helped to locate missing soldiers, mark graves and testified before Congress about her wartime experiences. 

She would then travel to Europe, where she discovered the Switzerland-based Red Cross, which called for international agreements to protect those sick and wounded during wartime, as well as for the formation of societies at the national level to provide voluntarily aid on a neutral basis. When she returned stateside, she established the American Red Cross in 1881, and since then the organization continues to serve people both in the United States and internationally with disaster relief, lifesaving blood drives, aid for military families, and first aid training and certification.


Known as "the Moses of her people", Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland, escaped, and then helped others gain their freedom as a "conductor" of the Underground Railroad; never being caught and never losing one of the hundreds of "passengers" placed in her charge. Her time with the Underground Railroad also gave her intimate knowledge of the highways and byways of South, which made her indispensable to the Union army as a spy; infiltrating the Confederacy and gathering intelligence about troop placements and supply lines from the local enslaved population - all while having a $40,000 bounty on her head.

After the war, Tubman continued her legacy of activism, raising funds to help newly freed people find homes and jobs as well as joining Elizbeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in their fight for women's suffrage.


While the city ordinance on public transportation in 1950s Montgomery, Alabama stipulated on paper that no one would be required to give up their seat and stand if no others were available, it was not so in real practice, particularly for black passengers. The section reserved for them towards the back was also subject to change without warning in order to make room for white passengers, which is exactly what the driver on Rosa Parks' bus did when he moved the "Colored" sign directly behind the row in which she sat and demanded that she give up her seat for a white man. She refused, indirectly setting in motion the chain of events that would lead to some of the most significant civil rights legislation in American history.

While the humble Parks tried to play down her role in the fight for civil rights, the grace, and dignity with which she campaigned made her one of the most respected figures in the movement; as well as an international icon of resistance against racial segregation.

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Chevy Simplifies Checking-In with All-New Vehicle Locate

BAY CITY, Mich. -- We've all forgotten to let a friend or family member know that we arrived safely at our destination. Chevrolet recently rolled out a new feature on their popular myChevrolet mobile app that helps to ease worries about our loved ones and make the process of checking-in much more convenient, called Vehicle Locate. It allows Chevy drivers to send out automated text alerts directly to an indicated contact(s) phone when their connected vehicle arrives and departs from an address.

Vehicle Locate replaces the previous Family Link Service, which was entirely web-based. When setting up Vehicle Locate, you have the option of creating a boundary radius as wide as 20 miles or indicate specific destinations. Then you can select up to 10 people to send an alert to once your vehicle has entered or left the area, with each having to opt-in to receive it.

“At Chevrolet, we aim to make our drivers’ lives easier through smart and purposeful technologies,” says Alejandra Gonzalez, product manager, Remote Services, Chevrolet. “Vehicle Locate provides both drivers and their loved ones with peace of mind in a variety of different drive-related scenarios.”

The Vehicle Locate feature is available to owners of 2012 or newer Chevrolet vehicles in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The service is a part of the OnStar Remote Access Plan, which includes other convenience features such as remote key fob and on-demand vehicle diagnostics for $14.99/month.

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

5 African-Americans Who Changed the Automotive Industry

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Could you imagine how chaotic driving would be without turn signals or traffic lights? Neither can we! The automotive industry and the way we drive today would be incredibly different had it not been for the innovative work of the many African-American inventors and engineers throughout history.

This Black History Month, we at Graff Bay City would like to share with you their stories, and their contributions to American automotive innovation!


Born into slavery in West Virginia in 1833 and later escaping to Ohio in 1862, C.R. Patterson is credited with both founding the first and only African-American owned automobile company, as well as building cars in the United States even before Henry Ford! 

Upon his arrival in Greenfield, Ohio, Patterson found work as a blacksmith and partnered with a local-carriage builder by the name of J.P. Lowe. When Lowe died in 1883, C.R. took over their business and renamed it the "C.R. Patterson & Sons Company", which offered 28 kinds of horse-drawn vehicles and employed over a dozen workers. He also experimented with manufacturing gas-powered "horseless carriages" during this time - putting him 10 years ahead of the development of the Ford Quadricycle (Henry's first successful self-propelled vehicle).

When Patterson died in 1910, his son Frederick carried on his father's work, shifting the focus of the company completely to automobiles. The first official offering named the "Patterson-Greenfield" rolled off the line in 1915, which sold for $850 and by many accounts was considered superior to the Ford Model T released seven years prior. Unfortunately, the Patterson Company was unable to compete with Ford's assembly line and was soon overtaken. C.R. Patterson's contributions to automotive innovation, however, are certainly not forgotten.


Spending a great deal of his childhood in his father's body shop, Ed Welburn knew from the very beginning that he wanted to pursue a career in the auto industry. Inspired by a visit to the 1960 Philadelphia Auto Show at the tender age of ten, he found his calling in the area of design and was hired in at General Motors eleven years later becoming the first African-American car designer.

During his nearly 50-year tenure, Welburn has overseen the design of numerous vehicles including the 2010 Buick Lacrosse, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and Buick Enclave.


Most people know George Washington Carver as being the man behind peanut butter, but his contributions to science and technology extend far beyond the salty-sweet spread - particularly in the automotive industry. A world-famous botanist in his day, Carver's research into sustainable, plant-based alternatives for industrial products caught the eye of none other than Henry Ford. Through their close collaboration, the two developed a substitute rubber compound for tires using goldenrod (a plant weed) and also helped to further research into alternative bio-fuels like ethanol.


Born in San Francisco in 1884, not much is known about Richard Spikes as a person. Although, his impact on the automotive industry is legendary, as we have him to thank for many innovations that are now the standard in our everyday lives. These include the turn signal, automatic car wash, automatic gear shifter, and a safety brake system used on buses and trucks nationwide.


Back in the early 1920s, traffic lights only had two colors: green and red. On top of that, they were notoriously unpredictable, suddenly changing and only giving drivers virtually no time to react, resulting in a ton of accidents. That was until Garrett Morgan, sitting in traffic behind a particularly nasty collision, had an idea: an interim "warning" signal that let drivers know that they should be prepared to clear the intersection before crossing traffic enters it. In 1924, he patented the three-position traffic light that we use today, equipped with that yellow "warning" signal, effectively making roads across the United States that much safer.

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Top 10 Love Songs for Valentine's Day

BAY CITY, Mich. -- From entire symphonies to carefully curated mixtapes, music has long been one of the most popular ways to express one's love for another. Why? That's as much of a mystery as love itself, but at the same time is just as undeniable.

This Valentine's Day, we've assembled our own playlist of our Top 10 Favorite Love Songs for you to enjoy with that special someone in your life!

1. "Easy Living" - Billie Holiday

When it comes to love songs, not many can hold a candle to Lady Day. This tune exudes that feeling of life being just a bit easier in presence of that special someone.

2. "Book of Love" - Peter Gabriel

Love is a multifaceted thing. It's both complicated and simple. No matter how many sides there are, however, it all seems worth it with the right person.

3. "First Day of My Life" - Bright Eyes

Love isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but an imperfect series of epiphanies. What truly matters is the effort made by those involved to grow together, both as a couple and as individuals, in the wake of the many mistakes that will be made. Bright Eyes captures this dynamic in this song.

4. "You're My Best Friend" - Queen

The strongest partnerships often begin in friendship. You've endured the best and worst of each other together, uncomplicated by romantic expectation, creating an unconditional bond that blossoms into true love. That's exactly the idea Queen's bassist, John Deacon, had in mind when he wrote this song for his best friend who is now his wife.

5. "Sweet Child O' Mine" - Guns N' Roses

Your person represents everything that is good in the world to you. No matter how ugly other aspects of life get, you can count on finding safety in them even in the rawest of moments. For them, you feel that same level of devotion.

6. "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran

Those who have been together for a long time know that you don't fall in love with each other just once, but every single day. Everyone has their moments, sure, but all those little things they say or do are continuous reminders that you're right where you belong.

7. "Can't Help Falling In Love (With You)" - Elvis Presley

Most of us can attest to the overwhelming affirmation of love. When it comes to that special someone, it feels as natural as a river flowing to the sea.

8. "Crystal" - Stevie Nicks

Sometimes love takes a little longer to find us, especially when past experiences make us a little resistant to reaching out. When you least expect it, however, someone comes along and makes it all crystal clear, and the feeling is impossible to deny.

9. "Drops of Jupiter" - Train

One of the most incredible things about people is our capacity for change. When romance either doesn't work out or was never explored in the past, it can sometimes mean that those involved had to learn something before clicking - whether about each other or themselves. If it's meant to be, however, things have a funny way of working out - no matter how long it's been, or how far you are.

10. "Your Song" - Elton John

True love transcends anything material. Oftentimes, it's the little things that can truly endear someone to us, even something as simple as a song.

What are some of your favorite love songs? Share them with us!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

We Come From the Land of the Ice & Snow: Michigan Winters Through the Ages

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Between crazy snowfall, wicked ice storms, and record-setting subfreezing temperatures; we've had quite a wild winter so far here in Michigan. Although, let's be real, what else could you expect from a state that's literally shaped like an article of winter apparel? All jokes aside, Michigan winters can definitely be some of the toughest in the country, but our history shows that the people who call the Mitten home are even tougher.

Take look at some of these Michigan winters through the ages, and the Michiganders who look so at home in all of that snow!

Here are two children standing in the snow-engulfed streets of Downtown Calumet in 1907. The message in the lower right-hand corner reads: "Plenty snow up here in wintertime". This photo was taken on April 11th. Yeah, sounds about right.

In the early days of baseball, Opening Day was held mid-April. Why the late start? To avoid what you see happening in this photo taken in 1911 when the Detroit Tigers hosted the Chicago White Sox at their original home of Bennet Park to kick off the season. However, the blizzard didn't stop the Tigers from winning 2-0.

A little snow has never kept us Michiganders from getting out and about, as shown in this photo from 1912 where these people are trudging along in their Packard 30 Model UE on Belle Isle. Those of us in the present day at least have the luxury of not having to ride around in conditions like this with the top down, however. Can you imagine?

Due to the immense supply of pine trees and hardwoods throughout the upper and lower peninsulas, Michigan had a booming lumber industry in the 1880s with the first mills being set up in our neighboring Saginaw. These guys were just some of the many lumberjacks of the time who worked from even before sunrise to after dusk, even in our state's unforgiving winter conditions. They even took advantage of it, creating ice-covered roads to transport felled trees out of the forest and to the mills.

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.

Monday, February 11, 2019

2019 Rock the Hill Concert Series: One-Day Ticket Sale at Graff Bay City

BAY CITY, Mich. -- If you're a music-lover, you know that nothing beats the excitement of a live show, especially when you can get outside to enjoy the weather and tunes. This August, Graff Bay City is proud to help bring just that to our community as a sponsor of the 2019 Rock the Hill Concert Series! Big names like Foreigner, Theory of a Deadman, and more will be performing at Veterans Memorial Park!

Excited? Us too. That's why we're giving you the chance to get snag your tickets early AND save some cash in the process during the ONE DAY ONLY EARLY TICKET SALE for the 2019 Rock the Hill Concert Series. On February 23rd from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM you can visit Graff Chevrolet in Bay City to purchase your General Admission or VIP tickets to see Foreigner on August 9th or Theory of a Deadman on August 10th.

This ONE DAY ONLY SALE is important because you can get $10 OFF your General Admission ticket on this day only!


The 2019 Rock the Hill Concert Series will take place August 9th and 10th at Veterans Memorial Park in Bay City, MI; featuring live performances from a stellar line-up of artists.

Friday, August 9th – Foreigner
G. A. tickets $20.00 and VIP at $45.00
G.A. Tickets $30 after one day sale
* Plus a $5.00 service fee per ticket

Saturday, August 10th – Theory of a Deadman, WSG, Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Trapt
G. A. tickets $20.00 and VIP at $40.00
G.A. Tickets $30 after one day sale
* Plus a $5.00 service fee per ticket

Graff Bay City is proud to sponsor the event alongside our friends at Maier & Associates, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, and Fabiano Brothers.

For more information, visit: https://www.baycityconcerts.com/







Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.