June 12, 2011 — -- You'll remember that army of smiling neighbors trailing us down a Seattle street. How did it grow that big?
Let's rewind the tape.
The "Made in America" team first knocked on the Kochs' door. They knew the drill -- we took everything out that wasn't made in the United States as we did with the Usrys in Texas. Then they walked us over to the Andersons' house. And the Andersons took us to the next house where Niki Trumbo and Karen Fite lived.
"Your whole house is out there. You're laughing now."
With most of their homes turned inside out, the Andersons stood with their bench from Indonesia, the Kochs with their dresser from China and Trumbo and Fite with their couch from Canada.
They were all up for the "Made in America's" team challenge: Find one thing that's made in the U.S. that is still in their home or on a shelf in a store somewhere in Seattle. One thing that they couldn't wait to tell the rest of the country about.
'Made in America' Hits the Streets to Find One Thing
And it turned out that the whole neighborhood wanted to participate. So while they searched for that one thing, we did too. On a cold, wet day in Seattle, we rode our bikes and donned our helmets. And we weren't the only ones as we found out when we met the Seattle Police Department.
Sgt. Ashley Price told us where to find weather-proof cycling gear that was made in America and also critiqued our outfits -- "It's a little lacking."
So we headed to the Olympic Uniform Co., where workers make police gear for universities and cities like Memphis, Tenn.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Orlando, Fla.; and metro Atlanta. Olympic also manufactures bike patrol gear for law enforcement in the Netherlands.
We discovered entire stores like NuBe Green filled with products bearing the label "Made in America."
"I love this doormat. This is from the ropes in lobster pots." "These are made from recycled wine bottles. It's brilliant!"
'Made in America': Cascade Designs
Cascade Designs started nearly 40 years ago. When times were so bad, the saying in Seattle was, last person out turn out the lights. But Cascade didn't.
"There's a lot of pride knowing something I'm making is going all over the world," said Jimmie Brown of Cascade Designs. For decades here, Brown has been making the Thermarest mattress, the company's most prized invention.
Eighteen million have slept on them -- families camping, hikers climbing and soldiers fighting.
And while we were choosing our one thing, back on that Seattle street, residents were already lining up theirs.