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Workin’ the blower at 88

02/02/2015
Our neighbor Stan clears snow in front of his house last Saturday. (Photo by Jennifer Moore).

Our neighbor Stan cleared snow in front of his house last Saturday. (Photo by Jennifer Moore).

I would never ask our 88-year-old neighbor to help clear the driveway.

I mean he’s EIGHTY-EIGHT-YEARS-OLD.

But there was Stan pushing a snow blower the size of a wash machine across the street yesterday. It was 10-degrees outside, the ground was slicked with ice and the wind felt like a 10-ton air conditioner stuck on high.

“Hey they-a,” he shouted.

I just got out of the way.

Now Stan served in the Marines during World War II, fought in Iwo Jima and served for decades on the Bangor Fire Department. I’m pretty sure he had hip surgery two years ago and I know his wife Mirian was pretty sick last summer. Guys like Stan, if there are any left, aren’t bothered by two feet of snow in five days.

It took Stan about 10 minutes to open our sidewalk. He rammed the blower  into a wall of snow plow ice pack, dragged the machine backward and rammed the snow wall again and again. Then he cleared the over blow from the driveway.

“We had it pretty easy the last couple-a years,” he said. The snow blower in his hands roared like a Harley.

I agreed.

Stan’s face poked out from under the double protection of a hood and a crooked hat with ear flaps. His cheeks were siren red.

“This is winta in Maine,” he said. “You take care.”

Then he pushed the snow blower back across the street to put the finishing touches on his own driveway.

Two years ago, after a particularly brutal Nor’easter, I offered to help Stan shovel his front steps. They’re double wide, steep and pretty narrow. He wouldn’t let me do it. “You’ve got ya own to do,” he said.

This time, Jen and I waited until Stan disappeared around the back of his house.

I jumped to the top of his front steps and started pushing snow to the side. Jen cleared the walk. We had everything cleared in less than five minutes.

Stan never saw us.

Sometimes you just can’t ask.

 

 

 

 

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One Comment
  1. John permalink

    Great story. This fellow is typical of many Mainers and people like him are increasingly less common. Glad you were able to help him also!

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