Fifty years in business is a long time for a family company. The Erb Group of Companies asked me to create a painting that talked about its past. All the commission works that I produce contain many personal references to the commissioners past. In this painting, high on the list of must haves was a forceful reference to the International Truck dealer, Theo Dietrich, in St. Agatha. In my experience it is unusual for a customer to pay such a tribute to his supplier from many years ago. I think that Vernons insistence on such a major inclusion says much about the man and the values that he places on personal connections. As we talked, he waxed nostalgic about time spent with the people at the dealership and the difficulties and the successes of those earlier years. It is a pleasure for me not only to picture the past but also to learn from it.
Important as well was the first new car and truck the Erbs owned as they carefully grew to become this large company with 1200 employees. I also painted a double portrait of the co-founders, Vernon and Viola Erb, Image #3077.