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South Mountain Journal by John Canan, Photographer, Journalist

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Making Adjustments - Three Generations of Service

Making Adjustments - Three Generations of Service

Liberty Auto And Tire, Mercersburg, PA

Liberty Auto And Tire, Mercersburg, PA

Have you ever wondered about how the person who fixes your vehicle came to that particular line of work? Consider the impact that the quality or non quality of mechanical work you have recieved has impacted your lifestyle and family.  Brent, Jody, Andy, Rex, and John, worked on my vehicles for a number of years, even after I had moved 80 miles away.  What impressed upon me was knowledge and understanding of different makes and types of vehicles and the in-depth experience that they had in correctly diagnosing and fixing simple and complex problems.  Owner, and mechanic, Brent Smith, adept at pattern recognition and critical thinking, also possesses the uncanny ability to interact professionally with people from all walks of life and social backgrounds.   

7:00 AM Checking the calendar and making the plan for the day

7:00 AM Checking the calendar and making the plan for the day

Meeting the challenge of operating a sustainable business with servicing customers of all walks of life, temperament, and servicing automobiles from an extremely broad spectrum of mechanical condition and technical specifications; not as easy as I had once taken for granted.  It was the particular way that Brent made what he did seem so easy.  His at ease manner put me at ease unlike any service I had recieved from a company before. This is a mouthful and this is the palette on which the Smith family of Mercersburg, Pa make their art.

As an automobile owner I think vehicles cost too much to purchase, so maintenance and repairs compound my attitude.  Brent had conversations with me that I did not make easy, and his kind and professional tone did not change.    

Changing oil on a car with nearly 300,00 miles, the team at Liberty have been servicing this vehicle all of its life.  Value is important to Brent, and it reflects in what and how he approaches his work.

Changing oil on a car with nearly 300,00 miles, the team at Liberty have been servicing this vehicle all of its life.  Value is important to Brent, and it reflects in what and how he approaches his work.

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Brent's family started an John Deere tractor sales and service operation in the area.  Brent grow up around mechanical service.  His first mechanical project involved taking a lawn mower engine apart and repair it.  His possession of an insatiable curiosity for how things work and why something is occurring versus something else is apparent through his in-depth knowledge of each of the different makes and model of cars I owned and serviced with him.  His way of speaking about what the problem or repair was helped me to understand it, learning more about each vehicle every time he serviced them.  It is my opinion that doctors, leaders, and others serving the greater health or wellbeing of others would stand to benefit from spending a day or two with Brent and the folks at Liberty Auto and Tire.  So, working in the service business I did just that, I asked to shadow Brent, his wife, and team, and see what I could learn.  In his usual humble way, he seemed unsure as to why I, as a vocational photographer would want to hang out with them, or what I might have to say about what they do, and he agreed to let me come spend some time with them. 

Liberty Auto and Tire Mercersburg, PA
Storytelling - Building Connections

Storytelling - Building Connections

Better Than I Imagined - C&O Canal Towpath

Better Than I Imagined - C&O Canal Towpath