It was at the dinner table young Morain heard the conversations between his parents. “We need to collect from (name) so that we can pay the supplier on Friday” his father would say. “For a long time it was hand to mouth,” he recalls. “That’s how business was in those days,” the war years and beyond.
His mother worked day and night, as well, not only keeping up with the family interests, but working as a seamstress. “I still have the book where she wrote down everything she did and what she was paid for it. She would make a whole dress for $7.”
The Navy installations in Norman changed the community drastically. For the Morains, it meant that there were five additional theaters in town, and his father got the job of maintaining the Navy movie house projectors as well. He even was exempted from service “because they needed him to maintain the Navy’s theater equipment.”
Gordon Morain was making $75 a week at the theaters, and he was earning quite a bit with his toolbox. “Mom and Dad decided that when he got to the point he was making $75 a week with the toolbox, they could survive on that and he could quit the theaters.”
So it was in 1947 that the senior Morain capitalized on his tinkering abilities and his reputation and established his business, calling it “Gordon’s Specialties.” Just a dozen years later, Allen Morain finished a degree in business at OU and joined the family business.
“The business streamlined itself into heating and air conditioning,” Morain said, eventually taking that into the business name. His parents, now deceased, remained involved in the business for many years, and Allen Morain’s wife, Loyce, worked in the office. Later their son, Bruce, was a part of the business. In the 1990s a new business opportunity opened up and “200 mom and dad operations around the country” merged into Service Experts.