Sometimes we wonder just how businesses were started; an idea? A passion or extensive know how? We were able to talk about living with memories with an area master renovator, Michael Brocklebank of T-ROC.
From the Beginning
What a cool conversation – it starts like this: A young boy, a father and a grandfather; Dad and Grampa are both very talented when it comes to renovation projects; working away while the young guy watches…in the beginning.
Slowly the young guy pick up tools – always questioning ‘What’s this?’, ‘What does it do?’, and ‘When can I help?’ The older men enjoyed teaching and showing – but the big inclusiveness came by doing.
Living with the Earliest Memories
The earliest memory of watching, happens in 1960, the project-build a trailer for transporting ‘stuff’. The coolest part of living with memories is that who knew that 60 years later, Michael would be using that very same trailer for his company. This was a very proud moment for Michael’s dad.
Finally - He Helps
Dad and Grandpa agreed that Michael could help with the shingles. A great way to start; a smaller building and lower to the ground would be a great place to start. The memory stays with Michael as he now owns that very site. He’s upgraded the house trailer itself and rebuilt the shed. However, he used the same framing as was put in originally. The remarkable aspect of the shed is that the light bulb that Grandpa bought way back when is the same light that shines there today. We wonder if Michael will create a shadow box to place the bulb in…if it ever burns out.
A Winding Road to His Dream
Michael comes into the renovation business after schooling in Interior Design. Realizing that his visual abilities were spot on and that he could readily see the dreams of his clients; he really wanted to be a bigger part of the process. In order to do this, he needed to become a renovator. Michael loves the interaction with his clients as much as he does introducing them to the finished projects.
Lots of Time with Dad
Starting to build his reputation, his dad would often go to job sites to assist with Michael’s builds and renovations. Michael really laughed as he told us about their disagreements. His very talented dad would offer suggestions or ways he thought would be better. Michael tells us that he rarely agreed – but always listened. Being able to agree to disagree created a very strong bond between the 2 men that created many memories.
Michael’s dad wore the company hat and always spoke of TROC as ‘our business’, a family business, and he wasn’t wrong.
Now he's Living with Memories
Michael does much of his work living in memory of his dad. Stan Brocklebank passed away right at the beginning of the pandemic. His dad’s actual profession was building safes, which he did for 35 years (No wonder that he was so precision oriented, passing this trait down to Michael.)
Even during his time spent in the hospital, Stan’s connection to Michael was extreme. He had been unconscious for 3 months with Michael visiting him almost daily. Then a call came to say that Dad had regained consciousness and was completely copasetic. For over a year they were able to dream and plan together while Stan rehabbed, until he simply couldn’t rehab any longer.
Many Proud Moments
Michael proudly uses his dad’s tools and his grandpa’s trailer as he carries on in the world of renovations. One sometimes wonders if there’s an angel or two sharing space on Michael’s shoulders guiding him through each job.
Written By: Jane Laker
Photos By: Veronika Kovecses