Man driving firetruck cross-country in the name of 'buying American' stops on Hilton Head

bheffernan@islandpacket.comJanuary 30, 2013 

Friends Tim Morris, left, and Aaron Lorell pose next to their American-made 1971 Mack fire truck in the Hilton Head Island Walmart parking lot on Wednesday. The two are on a cross-country journey hoping to convince big-box retailers to devote more shelf space to American-made goods.

JAY KARR, STAFF PHOTO

Aaron Lorell is traveling the country in pursuit of an American dream of sorts.

And at each stop, he’s taking up two parking spaces.

Or a fire lane.

After Lorell lost his job two months ago in California, he flew to New Jersey, bought a firetruck and started a cross-country journey with a friend. Their goal is to make American-made products easier to buy.

To accomplish that, Lorell is asking big-box retailers like Walmart to create aisles that carry only American-made goods, similar to the way grocers have organic-specific aisles.

He calls them "patriot zones." "Everybody really wants to support their country... but when it's going to change your shopping time from a half hour to three hours to try to read the fine print [on labels], time just necessitates that people skip it," Lorell said.

Lorell has stopped the red firetruck on Hilton Head Island for a few days to spread his idea.

For more on Lorell’s story and the reception he is receiving in the Lowcountry, check back later today at IslandPacket.com or BeaufortGazette.com.

Related content: 'Made in America Fire Truck Tour' makes stop in Winston-Salem, Jan. 23, 2013

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