Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara

Fred and the F&E Check Protector Business

Fred’s F&E Check Protector business was going well, and he sold a lot of new machines but also required repairing machines that had broken.  At first Fred would box them up and take them to the Greyhound Bus station to have them shipped out to the factory to be repaired.  It was on one of these trips he found out Barbara was working at the bus station.  

Fred, always the businessman, figured he could save money if he repaired the machines locally and knowing that Morris was handy with tools and good at fixing Check Protectorthings, asked if Morris wanted the job and he said yes.  A check protector is a complicated mechanical machine with rows of buttons to enter the dollar amount and then a handle crank you would pull to emboss the amount onto the check.  Later models had and electric motor and a button to push instead of the handle.  Being a mechanical device, they were prone to break and needed special training on how to fix them, so Fred sent Morris to the Headman Company factory in Chicago for a week to learn how to repair them. The training included a multi-drawer toolbox filled with the special tools and parts which Morris needed to repair the machines. In the following fifteen years Morris worked several hours on Monday through Thursday nights and most of the day on Saturdays but working for his father-in-law had its benefits, flexible hours and getting off on Saturday when there was a Florida Gator football games.

Fred was a natural salesman and he traveled all over the state of Florida and south Georgia to sell check writers going from business to business. In cities he had not been to before he would simply take the phone book and look up likely business in the yellow pages and then go by and see them.  Once a sale was made there would be follow up visits to sell upgrades and for repairs.  Banks, needing the extra security that check writers provided, were a big part of Fred’s business.  On some of his trips Fred would take his son Corky who told the following story about one of the trips:

We visited First Federal Savings & Loan, a large and prestigious bank.  As we entered the round lobby of the bank, with large round teller area in the middle, I heard a teller yell loudly: “Lock up the vault, the Preacher is here!”  In about five seconds, most of the bank stopped working and Dad was the center of attention.  He performed his magic.  Soon, the woman vice president broke-up the party and called us into her office.  She was tough and in charge of purchasing such items as check writers.  She was also a fan of Dads.  She immediately told me that Dad was there to sell her back the check writers that he had traded from her on his last trip.  Dad laughed and, before we left, had traded all of her check writers in the bank for new ones.

Updated: 02-25-2022

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