The heat of summer has continued in Brasstown. Last week’s 90+ degree days found The Deer Hunter replacing the roof of one of the rec buildings in Murphy. He said to say it was hot was an understatement.
The building they were working on was near the tennis courts. The county has hired a crew to repave the courts so there was folks working out in the heat there too.
The Deer Hunter’s attention was grabbed by one man who look way too old to be doing hard manual labor, much less in the humid heat of the day.
He kept his eye on the old guy and finally had the opportunity to talk to one of the other men on the crew. The Deer Hunter asked about the man and was told he was 90 years old and just plain loved to work. Said he didn’t see no use in sitting at home when he could be out there doing what he enjoyed doing, which was work.
The follow day The Deer Hunter continued to watch the old man noticing he was still going strong although he was now sporting a cane to help him get along. He had the cane in one hand and a post hole digger in the other.
I got a good laugh over the image of the old man with the cane working circles around some of his fellow employees.
The Deer Hunter’s story reminded me of one Granny told us about Pap.
We all used to kid Pap about his love of work. He was never one to sit around, until his health forced him to. Like the old man on the paving crew, Pap genuinely liked to work and by work I mean work hard. Granny always said he got it from his mother. She said Mamaw Marie was the workingest woman she ever seen.
During WWII Papaw Wade, Pap’s father, was rejected for service due to a leg injury he’d suffered as a boy. So instead of going off to war, Papaw Wade went off to Newport News VA to work in the ship yards.
Pap’s mother went to see Wade and left Pap in the care of his Grandmother Carrie.
One day Pap was helping Carrie in her flower garden when he suddenly said “I just wish you’d go ahead and die.” Carrie said “Jerry now why in the world would you say something like that?” Pap said “Well then I wouldn’t have to work in your flower beds no more.”
Granny said over the years Pap’s parents would tell the story and laugh.
When Granny told Paul and me the story about Pap we both said we couldn’t believe he didn’t like to work as a child since he loved it so much as an adult. Granny said “Well he probably would have liked it fine if they’d been working in the garden instead of the flower beds.”