Morley's Carpentry 1986

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Like Mary, Philip returned to Toronto in June 1983 for a brief visit. Philip and his nephew Seth Anderson traveled to Toronto together in a 1972 Chevy Nova that Philip had inherited from his grandfather. They visited relatives and friends in Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, New York City, Pennsylvania and Toronto and arrived back in Texas in early August. While in Toronto, Philip worked at the Ragnarokr leather shop for a few weeks and he, Seth and Morley Yan made a quick trip to the Frostpocket farm. Just before leaving Ontario, Philip and Seth made one last visit to Frostpocket with Janice Spellerberg and the baby Marty. Philip’s friend from George Brown College, Steve Bone, and his girlfriend joined them for the weekend at George’s house. The following year in July 1984 Philip made a second trip to Toronto to visit his son Marty who was four years old. This trip lasted six weeks, most of it spent in Toronto.

In January 1985 Philip moved back to Toronto and stayed at Janice’s apartment for several weeks until he rented the old summer kitchen in downstairs hallway at 33 Baldwin Street. He did not return to work in the leather shop. Instead he found a temporary job as a draftsman in the Exxide storage battery factory in Mississauga. In May he worked with Greg Sperry for a few days doing carpentry work on Toronto Island and spent most of June trying to start a business selling potholders of his own design. Finally in July he took a job as a commission salesman for a company in Scarborough called Tri-Air Systems. Tri-Air Systems serviced industrial heating equipment.

For the next six months, he canvassed industrial areas of Toronto in Bie’s VW sedan, telephoned about 150 businesses a week and made site visits to about ten factories a week. He earned $3,218 before finally exhausting his territory in February 1986. In May he and his son Marty traveled to Texas together to bring up the old Chevy Nova automobile. Upon his return to Toronto, Philip worked with Greg Sperry off and on until he and Morley Yan began working together renovating houses in the Dundas and College area of downtown Toronto. Philip continued to work as a building contractor until he and his family left for Texas in July 1987.

In February 1986 Philip’s wife, Rosa and her daughter Wendy arrived in Toronto from Mexico and moved into the basement room at the rear of 33 Baldwin Street. In June when the leather shop vacated 33 Baldwin Street he leased a house on Henry Street and moved his family there. By November he, Rosa, Chuck Angus and Brit Griffin were working together on carpentry jobs under the name of Mullins Carpentry and Renovations. The team worked on two rental properties owned by the Michael and Paula Letki, the Letki’s own home at 124 Essex Ave, the new Ragnarokr storefront at 758 Queen Street West and a large house on Clinton Street. After completing the job on Clinton Street, he, Brit and Rosa distributed 700 fliers to homes and businesses in the Spadina and College area of Toronto soliciting carpentry work. By then Rosa had found work at a clothing factory called Cotton Basics that was owned by George Traini and Linda Hamilton, their next-door neighbors on Henry Street.

When his wife and daughter were visiting Mexico in February 1987 Philip invited Dave Humphries, an old friend, to share the downstairs of the house on Henry Street. Helen Gilbert was already renting the upstairs. Helen was baby-sitting for one of the Barry girls when her client stole a guitar and some Brazilian banknotes from Rosa’s bedroom. This moved Philip to build a partition wall between his living area downstairs and the stairs leading upstairs. When Dave Humphries moved in he and Rosa disagreed over kitchen privileges. Rosa was learning English and felt isolated from her housemates. She invited Elba Mendoza, an older Spanish-speaking lady from California, to share Wendy’s bedroom and Elba and Rosa became constant companions. The economy of Toronto was headed into one of its periodic downturns and Philip was not certain that he could keep his business going through the winter. After much consideration and disagreeable arguments with Rosa, Philip agreed to move the family to the United States. In July 1987 Philip, Rosa and Wendy left Toronto for Burkeville, Texas in the old Chevy Nova automobile.

Morley continued to do renovation and construction work in Toronto. In 2000 he was living on Baldwin Street and working as a self-employed handyman.

Use this link to return to the narrative, The Partnership with Steve Spring, 1969-1986

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