Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara Larry

Dad's Workshop

The storage roomCar port with storage room in back. Dad's shadow taking photo.

Dad was a handy man who could build, install, or fix about anything and thus had quite a collection of tools, parts and miscellaneous odds and ends.  The problem was he didn’t have a very good place for a workshop.  Dad’s workshop was one end of the storge room at the end of the carport. [photo] The storge room was the width of the carport, ten feet wide, six feet deep with a pair of barn doors in front opening onto the carport.  While Mom had had the whole house as her domain, the storage room was Dad’s domain, a place for all his tools and “junk” as Mom often called it.   You may at first think that a six by ten foot space would make a good size workshop but the storge room also contained the washer, dryer, lawn mower, ice chest, camping gear, and other such things places on shelves above the washer and dryer and along the back wall.  This left just enough room on one end for a work bench with shelves over it and tools hanging on hooks all over the surrounding walls.  Dad’s work bench was usually a mess, tools, parts from one project or another piled on the bench, parts of things, some in boxes some just loose filled the shelves and larger items were piled under the bench on the floor.  It was always dark and gloomy in the storage room with a single bare bulb just over the inside of the door providing little light and another light on a movable arm over Dad’s workbench.  More light came in with the barn doors open but only the right one could usually be opened because the inside of the left door was covered with things hanging on it.  I found Dad’s workbench and tools fascinating and would often go in and poke around and checking out all the interesting things there, including one time a pack of cigarettes that he would sneak into the storage room and smoke.   Dad never smoked in the house or around us kids. info

That summer the Cannady’s who lived next door decided to move away and Dad saw an opportunity. Mr. Cannady had built a playhouse in their back yard for their kids, not your small sized child's playhouse, but a small "house" built like a regular house with 2x4 framing, ten feet square, full eight foot high ceiling, and two small windows.  Dad had a vison, the playhouse would make a great workshop, he asked the Cannady’s if he could have it and they said yes, now he just had to move it into our yard. To move the playhouse into our yard Dad borrowed a chain hoist from a friend, which he attached one end to the base of the clothesline pole in our yard and the other end to a heavy duty rope (which dad got surplus from Camp Blanding) around the playhouse.  The playhouse was up on concrete blocks letting Dad slide some round logs under it and in front it, then slowly working the chain hoist pulled the playhouse off the blocks onto the logs.  As Dad worked the hoist moving the playhouse across the logs , I would take the log coming out the back and move it back around the front and so on until the playhouse was about ten feet into our yard.  With the playhouse in position, Dad used one of the logs as a lever, lifting up one corner at a time while I slipped the concrete block back under it.

The playhouse was empty so Dad built two waist high benches on each side under the windows, some shelves above the benches and put in an old book case he got from the Chemistry Department.  Dad added a single bare light on the ceiling and two electrical outlets above the bench on each side of the window.  To get electricity to the workshop by running an electrical line underground to the light on the back porch.  With it all done Dad moved all his tools and stuff from the carport storage room into what was now his new workshop.

Dad often worked on one project or another in the workshop and I was usually there by his side watching and helping in any way I could.  Dad was patient and taught me how to use tools, plyers, screwdriver, how to hammer a nail, saw a board, starting the cut on the back draw and so on and it wasn’t long before I was working on my own projects in the workshop using Dad’s tools.


Updated: 09-03-2022/p>

8th Grade