A slightly different fountain of youth

My neighbour, J, had his work cut out for him………………well, the other way around, actually.  He had his cuts worked out for him.

We had bought two old fish farm pens and J had designs on them.  In order to get those designs happening he had to first cut up the steel structures.  To cut them up he needed a cut-off saw. And, so he managed to get hold of one.  If he had needed a bulldozer, I have no doubt……..

A cut-off saw is a big chainsaw motor attached to a large whirling 12 inch cut-off (natch) blade like the 5 inch, so-called razor-blades I use on my mini-grinder.  But even a seven-inch grinder wasn’t good enough.  J was going BIG.

He was also going hot.  It was pushing 30C when he stepped into the ring (the dry lagoon bed) dressed to the nines in heavy protective clothing.  Sal and I and J2 went down to witness the destruction.  We hoped sincerely that it would be restricted to the steel.


I levered a temporary wooden leg in position to hold the steel rails for him and J fired up the monster.  The engine screamed, the sparks flew and the six inches of steel was cut through like a hot knife through butter.  J was encouraged.  I was impressed.  No stopping him now.

We left him and went about our business.  That would have been about noon or so.  As we worked on our funicular project we heard the scream of blades on steel throughout most of the afternoon.  Around four the pit of hell-fire and steel fell silent.  I guessed that J was done.

Well, he was.  Kinda.

We had arranged to meet up at high tide at nine o’clock in the evening to take a large piece of log furniture over to the point by boat and up to the viewpoint. That required carrying a heavy bench and climbing up a rocky cliff with it.  As it turned out, J had finished chopping pen #1 that afternoon and had gone to fetch pen #2.  He was still at ‘the pens’ so Sal, his partner J2, and I hustled the bench around ourselves and placed it.  When we got back and light was beginning to fade, J was in the lagoon tying up pen #2.

But it was time to call it a day.

“Right.  See ya tomorrow.  J2 and I will just move the dozen buckets of dirt we collected and we’ll call it a day, too!”

So, we helped them take the dirt to where it had to be packed up the cliffside and then hiked home.  Sal had a shower and went to bed.  While I waited my turn I almost fell asleep in the chair.  We were done.

J’s day had been longer and harder than ours by a factor of five.  By the time he’d quit cutting steel, he was overheated to the point of being delerious.  But he just took a cold shower and went back to work.  Took him a few cold showers to get through the day.

J has to work hard when he is here ’cause he lives part time in town.  He has less time to get ‘cabin’ things done.  And he has to work hard in town, too.  He’s building a garage behind his house and holds down a full-time job at one of the fishing lodges.

J is 67.

He looks 47.  A very fit 47 at that.  That 60 year old Swede from Participaction?  A creampuff by comparison.  Not an ounce of fat.  More energy than an NFL football team.  Always on the go.  I didn’t have that kind of energy when I was 19 years old (and it has only tapered off since then)!  And we are not talking pushing-paper busy.  This guy lifts, carries and works with heavy stuff all day, every day.  He is a bloody marvel.

The only explanation besides Godzilla genes is that he has been physically active all his life.  And there doesn’t seem to be any let-up in sight.

Excuse me.  Just writing about him has tired me out.  I am going for a nap.



2 thoughts on “A slightly different fountain of youth

  1. Thanks for the up-date on the fish pens. Now I know what one does with surplus fish pens. Build the scrap pile. As Sly said, ” I’m gonna take it higher (take it higher)
    Don’t you wanna get that scrap pile higher (take you higher)”…light my fire. “Boom shaka-laka-laka! Boom shaka-laka-laka! Boom shaka-laka-laka!


  2. Gawd! that is so weird…………for the last few days (after a recently watched movie) the Family Stone has been playin’ in the back of my head. I burst out with Boom shaka-laka-laka a few times every day……………………


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