1. What was your first job in the store?
local history story?
History buff Murray Barkley steps back in time every day he heads off to work.
He resides with his wife, Pilar, in Avonmore.
"Tell me some of your stories!" He was very personable. He had a story for every occasion. He was a shrewd businessman, but strictly honest. He started up at zero and built a business that outlasted them all.
Joe, being the academic, says, "What if one farmer wants rain for his crop and his neighbour doesn't?" He said the rain would stop at the fence line.
His master's thesis was on The Loyalist Tradition in New Brunswick, a theme he further developed while studying towards a PhD at the University of Toronto, but broadening its scope to all of Canada. Although he "more or less" finished his thesis, he decided not to submit it, opting for a change and returned to Avonmore.
It's found under LCBO. It's called B E E R.
A man came into the store, a well known local. He was explaining to Joe, our butcher, and some of the boys, all you had to do was ask God for what you wanted. If you had faith, you'd get it. He was talking about how on a trip to Montreal he'd say, "Jesus, give me green lights" and he sailed right through. "Jesus, find a parking spot" and there it was.
Everything in that store is the same as 50 years ago . . . It would say everything is the same inside, but the outside world has intruded in so many different ways. There's as many inspectors today as there were traveling salesmen in my father's day.
2. What do you think the store walls would say if they could talk?
7. Would you go back and do anything differently in your life if you could?
A. When I was a kid. Bagging potatoes. I was five years old. I got so good at it I could come within a quarter of an ounce of the 10 lbs, four Adidas Energy Boost Mens out of five times. The potatoes would come in 50 lb. hampers and you'd bag them up. My grandmother liked to supervise. She had a sense of propriety and what was right or wrong. I had to also fill up the gum machine and roll up the pennies in the machine. I started right at the bottom. I also put nuts on bolts. It was talent!
5. What's the most popular item on the shelves?
Maybe the gossip! I loved being able to get up, have a coffee, read a book if I wanted to and be transported to that time.
It's a long story. Adidas Originals Shoes High Tops White And Black
tough question. The MPA? The temptation is there. You always think far away fields are greener. I made the decision when I made it, the only direction is forward.
Barkley's part of local history
It was begun by his grandfather, Willis, from whom he inherited his middle name. In 1981, Murray took over the reins from his father, Fred, who still be a familiar face at the store for the next 18 years.
How he could keep a secret in this town, like his scholarships and his philanthropy. He believed if you did good deeds they lost power if you talked about them. And how he could add three columns at once. He didn't need a calculator he would have loved the computer age. Third thing how he had the energy. He'd work all week, then teach smart asses like me and Andy Pipe in Sunday School. Boundless energy.
9. What's the most important lesson to learn?
I could answer in a lot of ways. They all ask for desicated coconut, but this guy a couple of years ago. His wife was doing Christmas baking and the first thing on the list was defecated coconut! I think he had a problem with his glasses, or maybe it was his wife's glasses. I still sell corks and I have a full box of overshoes that go over women's 1950s styled shoes, if anyone's interested.
4. What amazed you most about your late father, Fred Barkley?
8. What do you miss most about academic life?
Murray has always been an active supporter of all things Avonmore. He helped lead the crusade to save the village's post office, school and library. As well, he's been involved with Roxborough Community Policing, Tagwi and Roxmore school councils, Roxborough Agricultural Society and St. James United Church, plus the village's 150th anniversary in 1992. Murray has also published numerous articles in various history books and journals, including the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Heirloom Series of Canada and Acadensis.
3. What would you ask Willis Barkley if you had the opportunity?
He's the man behind the counter at Barkley's Store, in Avonmore. The business celebrated its 101st anniversary last Friday, but as Murray explains, it hasn't really changed inside for the past 50 years, and then 50 years before that.
6. What's the oddest thing you've ever heard of stocked here?
That's the Adidas Harden Vol 1 Black
Murray's mom is Florence, and he's the big brother of his sisters, Jean, a United Church minister, and Helen, a lawyer. He attended Avonmore Public School, then Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School. He headed off to Queen's University, in Kingston, to complete both his B. A. Honours (History), then his Master of Arts (History).
10. What's your favourite Adidas Duramo 7 Red
Well, it's simply treat others the way you want to be treated. I find in the store if you treat others with respect and dignity, that 99 per cent of the time, they'll respond the same way. Put others first.
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