Joe, our youngest son and a skilled mechanic, has rightfully earned his nickname, St. Joseph. He has been the go-to person when family and friends have had car problems: he once took a flat bed truck to Long Island to bring home a neighbor whose car had broken down.
During the winter months, Joe was plowing driveways, sometimes twice a night, depending on the amount of snow. When we were living in Yorktown, I’d hear him go out the door at 1:00 am, start up his truck and plow our driveway. Then off he’d go to do the same for his customers. Many mornings, without any break for sleep, he’d get to his job, plow the yard and open the garage for business.
Joe very rarely posts comments on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when I read his posting last week: “After 33 years, 8 trucks and countless sleepless nights, I am officially 100 percent retired from plowing. Can’t wait to see my truck covered with snow while I look out the window of my warm house with a mug of hot chocolate and not care—no more freezing hands and feet, no wet boots, hat and jacket; no truck breaking down in the middle of a driveway. Sweet! Life just got better!”
I remember a few years back when it seemed to snow every other day, Joe barely got any sleep. While on the way to a customer’s home, he passed a woman shoveling her driveway. Joe stopped and offered to plow, no charge--she was stunned. He said with just two sweeps of the plow, the driveway was done and the woman was delighted.
A few days later, as he passed her house, he noticed a sign on top of the mound of snow. He stopped to take a look: “Thank you, Joe” it read. He said that gesture of appreciation meant so much to him.
I’ve watched my son hook up cars to the tow truck or inch a car on to the flat bed; I’ve seen him get a junk car ready for a demolition derby; I’ve seen firsthand cars he has carefully and lovingly restored from the “ground up;” I’ve observed him effortlessly plow a narrow, short driveway: he is poetry in motion. He’s been instrumental in finding cars for his customer’s kids who were heading off to college. Add to this a willingness to help someone in trouble and you’ve met St. Joseph.