Mr. Newman and His New Friends

By Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My father would always tell us a new story about how he mended garage doors and the problems he encountered, the people he met along the way and some of the things he found. This particular story is a very personal one and one that I, as his daughter, am particularly thankful for.

Soon after my father had started working as a trainee garage door repairman in the early 1960s, he was accompanying his boss, Bill, to a job on the outskirts of the city. They had been called out to look at an electrically operated garage door that had apparently almost completely fallen off of the sliding tracks which guided it up and over when opened. This sounded quite dangerous and could harm somebody if it fell down, so Bill and my father were treating this job as urgent.

When they arrived, they were shown the problem by the owners, although they could actually see the problem as soon as they had set eyes on the garage door. It was half open and dropping down on one side at a precarious angle, as though any minute it would fall from its tracks. Bill and my father got to work, first of all securing the door so it couldn’t fall, and then proceeding to completely dismantle it from the rails so they could investigate the cause of the malfunction.

Remounting of the sliding rails

It was soon clear to them that the actual rails had probably not been fixed very securely in the first place and so it was a case of re-fitting the rails to make them secure and support the weight of the door assembly. It was quite a long job as it meant removing the door completely, re-fitting the rails, then re-assembling the door and the opening and closing mechanisms, and finally, to set up and test.

As it approached early evening, Bill and my father were invited to join the family for some supper in the house. This didn’t happen very often according to Bill, so the pair appreciated the invitation and quickly finished up their work so they could enjoy the homemade food which they could both smell for several hours previously.

To my father’s delight, the owners had a daughter, about the same age as my father, and the two of them instantly got along, discovering that they had so much in common and had even gone to the same school for a short time several years ago.

Having finished the job and enjoyed a family supper, Bill and my father said their goodbyes, loaded up their tools and headed home. My father explained how he couldn’t stop thinking about the girl he had just met, and after several stressful days decided to go and find her. He was worried that she wouldn’t remember him, or if she did she wouldn’t be interested, but deep down, he thought they had made a connection. He found her, they talked, they felt the same way they had done when they first met, and gradually after that, they went out and became very good friends.

Hand in Hand

Their friendship led to love and yes, you guessed it, marriage, which I am very happy about because the girl my father met that day is now my mother! Garage doors are designed to last a lifetime and my father is certainly happy to say that so has their love!

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