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GM worker looks to preserve past

GM worker looks to preserve past



Story created Nov 20, 2009 – 17:24:02 EST.




Donald Parent put in nearly 25 years as a Saturn/GM employee. With the closing of the Spring Hill plant Wednesday, Parent is about to embark on a new endeavor.


Parent is looking for supporters to work with him on creating a Spring Hill Auto Museum to celebrate General Motors’ history in Maury County.


Parent said he would like to kick off the project with a major festival reminiscent of the "Homecoming" events which once drew thousands of Saturn owners and fans to Spring Hill.


"Many people have responded enthusiastically to my idea of a museum and another ‘Homecoming’ type of event," Parent said. "I’ve already talked with the man who produced those over the years, and we may be able to pull something together as early as next summer."


Among those who have encouraged Parent is Waymon Hickman of First Farmers and Merchants Bank. Hickman was instrumental in bringing the Saturn plant to Maury County in the 1980s.


"I’m pleased that Donald Parent is working on this project to preserve Saturn’s history in our county, not only for the automobile’s but all the wonderful people who have been part of that history," he said.


Parent envisions creating a museum similar to those that pay tribute to the Corvette in Bowling Green, Ky., and the Corvair in Ypsilanti, Mich.


"Both of those museums draw thousands of visitors each year. I believe Saturn fans will be just as eager to come to Spring Hill to see this part of the GM history here preserved," he said.


Parent said his idea materialized while attending entrepreneurial workshops sponsored by the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance and Columbia State Community College held at the GM/Spring Hill Manufacturing plant for employees considering starting their own businesses


As the sessions were winding down, Parent submitted his business and marketing plan for the museum to a review panel of instructors who encouraged him.


His project plans and more information can be found at


"I got a lot of encouragement as well as good, fundamental business tips on how to proceed with this project at those workshops," he said. "Now I’m looking forward to hearing from members of the community with their ideas and input about what we can do together to make this project come to life."

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