A Man, A Backhoe, And A Project

Meet Melvin, our next door neighbor. Melvin is a retired lobsterman who spent 60 years out on the open waters surrounding Stonington, arising at the crack of dawn, heading out to his boat, and baiting and retrieving hundreds of lobster traps. But even in his retirement, he’s the most industrious person I know. He’s always working on a project.

That’s Melvin on his backhoe, which features prominently in many of his projects. So far this summer, Melvin and his backhoe have moved hundreds of lobster traps that he sold, cleared out a waste area of scrub trees and weeds, hauled and split granite rocks, built a nifty stone wall, and dug up and updated a drainage system. Melvin also built a safety fence for his toddler age great-grandson. And that’s just scratching the surface.

The next project on the horizon starts today. There are some trees that have grown up in the lot next to ours that block the view of the water for Melvin and Janet, for us, and for the owner of that lot next door. One of the trees isn’t healthy, either. The old owner of the lot didn’t want to do anything about the trees, but the new owner wants them to come down, and Melvin and his backhoe are ready to do the job. He’ll be cutting down and hauling out the branches and trunks and then chopping them up. The work starts this morning.

I also noticed a mound of fill in Melvin’s driveway. I guess that’s for the next project—or maybe the one after that.

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