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Note to Junior

No, not that Junior.

There’s a fellow who worked for me for the last several months, in his 70s and missing an eye. He’s been around the block and the world. Often told me of when he ran businesses and how, now, he ran a backhoe or pressure washer for me but he ran his own shop way back when. He’d owned bars, married late after sowing his oats and generally had a good life. He’d also went down to New Orleans after Katrina and ran a successful sheetrock business. All this and he had a third grade education. He is also one of the nicest, most straight forward men you’d ever meet.

He lost his eye, he told me, when a bristle from a steel rotary brush broke off and hit him in the eye. He didn’t notice at first but over a few hours noticed his eye hurt. He looked in his truck’s mirror to see the piece of steel hanging out of his eye. He tugged on it and thought better of pulling it out and went to the doctor. This was decades ago and medicine then isn’t what it is now. They informed him he’d lose the eye.

He’s also about five feet, five inches and weighs 90 pounds soaking wet with his pockets full of quarters.

He always had a joke. And it was always naughty.

And one of me earliest conversations with the man went like this:

Junior: You got a wee borry?
Me: A what?
Junior: A wee borry!
Me: I don’t know. What is that?
Junior: Well, it’s a conveyance of sorts. It has a wheel in the front, two handles and a space for holding stuff in the front. Ideal for dirt, mulch and rock. Easily shoveled into. A damn wee borry.
Me: Oh, a wheelbarrow. Yes, I have one.
Junior: That’s what I said, a wee borry.
Me: I obviously misunderstood.

Anyway, I was saddened to learn that he was taken to the hospital with pneumonia and, from treating that, the docs have determined he may have terminal cancer.

He is a good man. An honest man. And a hardworking man. Things you don’t see much of these days.

Get well, Junior.

12 Responses to “Note to Junior”

  1. Old NFO Says:

    Sorry to hear that, and hope he recovers… One of our maintenance workers, Jose, went in for the flu and was dead 6 days later of pneumonia.

  2. Justin Buist Says:

    “Me: Oh, a wheelbarrow. Yes, I have one.
    Junior: Thatís what I said, a wee borry.”

    Now you know what it feels like to be a Yank in the south!

    Silliness aside, sucks to hear a good man is down.

  3. Cargosquid Says:

    I don’t even the know that guy and I wish I did. I hope he gets well soon.

  4. montieth Says:

    Oh dear…

  5. Robert Says:

    They don’t make ’em like that much anymore. Pity. Hope he pulls through and keeps going strong.

  6. rickn8or Says:

    Get well, Junior; good hep is hard to find.

  7. Matthew Carberry Says:

    Guy like that, of course pneumonia couldn’t slow him down on its lonesome.

    If you get a chance, pass on my best wishes.

  8. Jennifer Says:

    Sounds like a good man. Hope he recovers quickly.

  9. Jerry Says:

    Ditto everyone, we need all the Jr’s we can get.

  10. Storyteller Says:

    Give him my regards. Then sit down and listen to evry darn story he has, it’s never to late to learn from such men.

  11. The Freeholder Says:

    Give my my best wishes as well. Sounds like a man’s man. I hope he can hang around.

  12. Ted N Says:

    Best wishes. Get well soon, JR.