Meet Gene Bean. The Legend. We like to compare him to Chuck Norris. Here at camp Gene Bean has super hero status. The man can build anything and fix anything. It's a full time job. He's the director of maintenance, which means he works year round at camp taking care of the grounds, the buildings and equipment.
Also, he does not really enjoy having his photo taken so while I took this picture he was yelling at me to get the camera out of his face.
I told him that I was going to write a blog about him but since he didn't know what a blog was he didn't really care too much.
Gene Bean (that's his real name, by the way) is one of my favorite people at camp. He tries to look all tough and scary but he's really kind and funny. His favorite thing to do is prank unsuspecting folks. He's never wrapped a present without using at least three boxes and an entire roll of duck tape. He routinely greases the toilet seats. He walks by and slides your coffee cup just out of your reach when you're not looking. People have been known to return to their cabin at night only to find their bed missing. It's usually in the barn of floating on a dock in the lake. Things like that.
He refuses to drink water because he says fish poop in it. He won't eat mushrooms because frogs pee on them. He drinks about a gallon of coffee a day and always has a pocket full of life-saver mints.
We like to say that he has baseball gloves for hands. One time he cut the end of his finger off while using the table saw. First, he duct taped some gauze to it. Then, he drove himself to the hospital. At the ER the doctor had trouble suturing his finger because his skin was too thick for the needle.
I've watched him stand on the end of a pontoon boat and lift a 280 pound concrete block from the bottom of the lake with a chain and then hold it in the air while I attached a hook to it. Gene does jobs alone that would usually require 4 people. The man is a legend.
I decided to follow him around this morning. I did this mainly to annoy him and partly to chronicle what he accomplishes in the span of an hour.
He went to the new cabin and finished digging a ditch in his tractor.
Then he changed a flat tire on a van.
Then we hopped in his new "buggy."
We went down to the lake where he installed some docking parts for me. I refrained from pushing him in. He may not be so lucky next time.
Then we came back up to the shop and I told him it was a mess.
Then he glared at me and told me to start cleanin.'
I ignored him.
Then I looked at his beloved tractor and tried to think of a cute name for it.
Then I looked at Snow White and told him that she needs a good washing. Then he asked if I was planning on bothering him all day or just for the morning. I told him that we would have to wait and see. And he told me to stop calling his truck Snow White. I can't imagine why he doesn't like that name.
Next he fixed the compressor. He removed a part, held it out and said, "You know what's wrong with it?" I thought quickly, trying to come up with a smart ass answer and finally said with my best Maine accent, "It's broke." He smiled and said, "Yup."
Finally, I really cramped his style by insisting he haul the new pontoon boat down to the boat launch with me. He grumbled the whole time and kept asking, "Why do you need a new row boat anyway?" He was just messing with me, of course. He secretly loves it when camp gets new boats because it means less repairs for him. Well, at least I think so.
Oh, yeah. Somewhere in the midst of all that he repaired the weed eater.
Are you feeling like a lazy bum yet? Don't. We can't all be be super heros.