Wm Flores and Son Blacksmith & Welding Shop, Tucson, AZ
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poehunters
N 32° 13.863 W 110° 58.669
12S E 502090 N 3566046
Quick Description: Flores William and Son Blacksmith and Welding is a business listed in Metal with locator is 724 North Main Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85705.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 8/1/2013 8:00:09 PM
Waymark Code: WMHPVQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Big B Bob
Views: 8

Long Description:
Blacksmithing was hot, sooty, physically demanding work, and that was fine with William Flores Jr.

He dropped out of high school to work in his father's shop and stuck with it for more than eight decades. Flores still was pounding iron at age 80. In the last decade, he'd given up the manual labor, but he still went into the office a few days a week to shuffle papers, chat up customers and watch his employees as they worked over the forge.

When his son, William, showed no interest in picking up the trade, he hoped one of his daughters, Carmen, Connie, Clara or Cathy, their husbands or his grandchildren would join the family business. He had no takers, but Clara did help around the office.

"He'd say, 'Mija, you have to get yourself some overalls and learn to pound iron,' " Clara Bjornson said. "The time I got to spend with him, helping him, it was a gift."

It's up to Bjornson and longtime employee Jose Luis Tolano to keep Wm. Flores and Son Blacksmith and Welding, on North Main Avenue south of West Speedway, running now. Flores died on March 13. He was 97. He is survived by his daughters and his wife of 72 years, Clara.

His father was 10 when he began working for a blacksmith. By 1920, he had his own shop on North Court Street. It became Wm. Flores and Son Blacksmith and Welding when the younger Flores dropped out of high school to join the business.

Early on, they made horseshoes and repaired wagon wheels and farm equipment. After Flores Jr. took a correspondence course on welding, the business added that service and started working on Model T's, sharpening tools for the mines and doing fabrication work for the railroad.

In 1929, the father and son moved the business to its current 5,000-square-foot location, 724 N. Main Ave.

"My father and I were together all the time," Flores said in a 1981 Arizona Daily Star article. Not only was he my partner for 40-some years, but he also was my dad and friend."

Flores has kept the shop going after his father died in 1971 at age 80.

To carry on his father's trade, Flores had to be dedicated. The cool, dim interior of the high-ceilinged shop is pleasant on a March afternoon, smelling faintly of dust and oil. The clack of the train chugging by on tracks across the street can be drowned out by the clang of a mallet on an anvil. The barnlike building has neither cooling nor heating, so Flores and his workers would swelter over the blazing forge in summer, yet find it hard to stay warm in winter working in the drafty building with the small forge at one end and just a wood stove at the other.
Operating Status: Operating

724 North Main Avenue
Tucson, AZ United States

Web Address: Not listed

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