SAN ANGELO, Texas – Gray’s Transmission has been here since 1975 and now they have three generations working to keep the name alive.
Henry and Sandra Gray met in Los Angeles, built a family and returned to Sandra’s hometown right here in San Angelo.
“He started this business across the street in a little small building and then this building came available and he added on to it. Its a premiere service station and the rest is history,” said Sandra Gray, Vice President of Gray’s Transmission.
They have now been in business for 47 years and with grandchildren now involved, Henry can relax.
“He’s now kind of retired and left it with our sons,” added Sandra Gray.
Henry’s sons, Travis and Gary, as well as his grandson, Cedrick, share the journey of what its like working for family.
“I can probably remember junior high, my dad bringing us to the shop and kind of showing us what he did and so in high school, we were taking transmissions out and putting them back together,” said Travis Gray, son and mechanic at Gray’s.
Their brother Nathan who runs the office now says he feels he is the heartbeat of the shop.
“I think it starts right here in the office because I’m going to answer the phone, I’m going to meet customers outside, I get a chance to talk and engage with the customers who come in and out of the shop, and with that being said, it starts here and then it proceeds out there,” said Nathan Gray, son and manager.
In San Angelo, African Americans make up about 5 percent of the population but Sandra says all races are helping to keep them in business and that she has pride in.
“We’re such a minority here, so I’m so grateful that I get along with everybody. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, I go to all of the meetings that I can. San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts and everything else to participate because that’s what we have to do,” said Sandra Gray.
But in comparison to the seventies, they say Black-Owned businesses seem to be dwindling.
“We’ve had longevity here, I remember from years back, there were a whole lot more black-owned businesses, not as much today. So its a blessing for us to yet be here and we just strive to keep moving forward,” said Nathan Gray.
Due to Gray’s transmission withstanding the test of the time, they are now evolving, saying problems they have now, they didn’t have before.
“We deal with a lot of electronics and electronics on vehicles effects the way a transmission will work,” said Nathan Gray.
“We go to a lot of seminars and try to learn as much knowledge as we can to do our trade,” said Travis Gray.
The Gray’s hope to keep the name alive, something they say will be a challenge but one they happily accept.
“We’re here when you need us and if you ever need a transmission, come and see us,” said Sandra Gray.