Nate is my neighbor and is always busy making our machines work like new again, moving things too heavy for us, and making our environment beautiful; Turns out he is a professional handy man these days with certified skills. I asked him how he found all of this work, he said “work” is always there to be found, and answered with this poem:
As a rule, a man’s a fool.
When it’s hot, he wants it cool,
When it’s cool, he wants it hot,
Always wanting what it’s not.
This pearl of rustic wisdom says it all. Change is constant and creates its own demand, thereby, pulling life forward for everyone in one way or another. Everyone wants some things to be different during their life, and someone somewhere knows how to fulfill that need. Nate’s “somewhere” is a short walk from my place and many other neighbors; and his professional skills are delivered with his own hands, mind and humor. He has no need for help from the Internet, except perhaps for scheduling purposes.
Nate told me he is a few years away from retirement age. I asked him why he does all this work and he replied, “Because it gives me great joy to do work I love to do, that I am good at, and that is done for my neighborhood friends.”
I showed Nate this article and asked if I could publish it in my blog and he said “sure,” then asked me to go with him a few houses down the street to meet his family where he gave them this article. After brief introductions, he quickly went back to work landscaping the property next door. After meeting his family I had to revise this article before publishing it.
His family referred to him as “Sam.” I said I thought his name was Nate. “It is, for ‘Nathaniel,’ but we all call him Sam from when he played professional basketball in France for 8 years. There he got the nickname ‘Super Amazing Man’ for his amazing moves on the court.” Sam also has amazing moves in finding and spreading happiness in the art of life. We all learn a from him.
He is “Sam” to his family, introduced as “Nate” to new comers like me; but his neighborhood friends, all of whom seem to know and love him, call him “Doc,” so I will too. I asked him why everybody called him Doc and he said,”because I operate.”
I don’t see Doc ever retiring. To me he is the “Poet of Eutaw” for two reasons: Words and Doing. He shares his wisdom of good living verbally with everybody, especially young people, using catchy rhymes and aggressive humor. He is also a “poet” whose neighborhood poems are written in the language of good works up and down the physical places of Eutaw for all to see and enjoy.
Long live the Poet of Eutaw!
Robert (Bob) Joseph Harris, May 28, 2014