By Manfried Rieder
"Our family legacy began in 1906 when my great grandfather painted and decorated St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, My father helped in repairing the Empire State building after it was hit by a plane"
Now, the heir to the family business, Robert Morgan is running this old business and, in keeping with the tradition of working high up on buildings, he specializes in steeple and building restoration with the most current project being a newly covered steeple for Newport's Christian Science Society. On Tuesday morning two of his helpers were almost to the top of the steeple which has received a beautifully crafted shingling of red cedar which will be coated with a clear water proofing. In the picture above Mr. Morgan is showing us the weather vane he has restored and re-gilded and which will crown the work which he hopes to finish by this weekend if the weather will hold out
But, there is more to the Morgan family, actually when I see the "Most Interesting Man in the World" with his Beer commercials on Television, he reminds me of Mr. Robert Morgan. His family was also in the boat building business for many years, specializing in large wooden schooners and, in the early 70s, Morgan Sr, built himself a 64 ft. schooner of teak and mahogany and took the whole family on a two year world cruise which son Robert fondly remembers even though he was only seven years old when the journey began. He worked alongside his father for 20 years and then took over the family company in 1994. His dad passed away in 1999 and since then the family has specialized in steeples. Morgan is an expert in gold leafing, waterproofing, slate roofing, brick pointing, coppering steeples and painting and siding work. He has done this on churches in six states so far and seems to enjoy the work as much now as he did when he started out as a 14 year old apprentice to his father during his school vacations.
"Is it not scary to be this high up" we asked and were rewarded with a big grin and the words "Not at all, the higher you go the freer you feel".
|"Old Glory" is featured on the Morgan Company's Brochure|