Thursday, January 21, 2010

Find Your Inner Rufus

Rufus Jacoby was 94 years old when this video was made a few years back. Passed away now. He's working at a retirement community wood shop at a place called Riderwood.

I never know what to make of places set aside for the elderly. The pragmatic benefits of the places make a certain amount of sense, but I never liked the idea of a society entirely stratified by age. Rufus had things to offer right up to the end. I imagine that a lot of his laconism springs from weariness from answering the same dumb questions over and over again. An intellectual tourist asks questions different than those trying to learn the ins and outs of a trade. I've known a bunch of guys like Rufus in my life. They mostly do things and don't talk about them unless they sense a commitment from the questioner. When Rufus wearily answers Padauk and Bubinga to his interrogator, and hears the dead silence in return that comes from true ignorance of the topic, I know in my heart that Rufus wanted to go back to his silent dialog with his work.

Talk to your work 'til the very end. It will speak for you after your wake.


NKVD said...

Interesting video - I was going to correct his calling a skew a scraper, but in another video he is shown using it as a scraper, so scraper it is.

While I am no fan of laminated turnings, it is great to see a man still working when most would have long since retired.

Plus, he still has all his fingers - well done!

Rufus, you showed us the way to be creative regardless of our age.

Johnny Glendale said...

Maybe the only thing cooler than old guys making stuff is old guys making music (comment made by an admiring and somewhat jealous soon-to-be-old-guy who can do neither well).

Casey Klahn said...

As my father used to say (in the old north woods) "that's funnier than bein' in a card game with a six fingered sawyer."

I visited one of these elder communities, which is a town that frowns upon the under 55.

There was a family reunion that we just barely missed, in the city park. We proceeded to the far end of town ( I guess we had directions telling us to go to the end of town ) and we interrupted a nudist convention. My little kids, the wife and I heard quite an earful from the denizens of this bare convention...

No. Not friendly in this community at all. Kind of corroborates your feelings @ them, Brian.

dick said...

I decided a long time ago I never ever ever wanted to live in a retirement community. Too much like an elephant's burial ground.

I am now retired and I want to live in a community where I can watch kids playing and families enjoying each other and their neighbors. I like the young people. I like seeing them and hearing them and just listening to them discuss their hopes and dreams. I also find that a lot of them like to talk to me as well. I have neighbors who tell me I am a part of their family and they look out for me.

I am reminded of an old dog I got from the Humane Society in NH when I lived there. Fantastic and well loved family dog. The owners had bought a condo in a retirement community using all their funds. When they went to move in they were told that dogs were not allowed and they had this old dog who was 9 years old. I took him home and he lived to be 18, best dog I ever had. I had to make arrangements so these people could visit and spend some time with him which I thought was only fair.

They told me if they had known they would never have moved there at all. They hated it. Rules for everything. They even had a rule that grandchildren could not stay longer than 3 days.

I have always loved being around older people. They are far more accepting than the in-betweens. They have see life and know life pretty well. Astounding knowledge they have. You can learn a lot from the little old ladies and the guys who have worked all their lives. They don't miss much and they are for the most part happy to share it.

Thud said...

Sipp...I'm in the process of setting up a small woodshop, I hope to amuse you with my output...or annoy.

被リンク said...

So the word change:

It's never too old to work...