With a mechanical problem with a vintage loom there are times you need to have someone look at the equipment that knows it so well he can fix things with his eyes shut (or diagnose it over the phone).
I met Lenny this past weekend when he came over to make a few adjustments that would help with the changing of the bobbins in the shuttles.
Lenny is the spryest 90-year-old I have ever met. Steady, agile, clear of mind and he knows his looms. He should, he’s been working on them for 76 years. He made a couple of adjustments, ran the loom a little, made a couple more and made a suggestion on changing how we wind the bobbins. Today everything ran the way it should.
Along with the fix we were treated to some serious reminiscing about the mills. The noise, the work, the different types of looms he had worked on. Being a loom mechanic or fixer was probably one of the most important jobs in a mill and it takes a person with the right type of mind to be one.
Lenny is different in his love for the machines. He’s never stopped – loving them, working on them, restoring them. You can see it in his face when they are running. There’s the look of delight you so rarely see except in the eyes of a child.
As he was leaving he looked at me and said “Well, that was a bit of fun!”.
We all need a passion in life that does that for us. That one thing that brings a broad smile to our face. That’s something that has continually evolved for me, I like learning new things – new crafts and bringing them to perfection. It’s always something with my hands producing something that can be amazing.
Lenny knows what he knows but he loves what he does and the product it produces. I think that love is what has kept him so young.