This is the second in a two-part series.
Motivation is the key behind every good person and the projects they undertake. What drives 86-year-old Bob Messer is the sparkle in the eyes of those who receive his woodworking gifts.
The Maine native worked for the railroad for years and loved the challenges of his great responsibilities there. But underneath his carpenter’s apron is a heart that beats with the satisfaction and joy from what comes out of his shop.
“It makes me happy when people are pleased with what I do,” Messer explained. “And this is especially true when it’s a child because there are things that I think every child should have that I didn’t have when I was growing up.”
Messer loves to construct toy chests for new parents and their children. He thinks it’s a badge of courage for young couples to even bring a baby into this turbulent world.
“It is a sick world,” Messer said, “however, God gave his only Son for us, and it’s only right that I give a son or a daughter into this world. I think we are obligated to do what he did. All I’m trying to do with my life is to get where God is at because if he placed us here, there’s got to be more, and from everything that I’ve experienced in my life … well, I believe it.”
Messer squarely faces aging and notes that he’s “not afraid to die.” As an elderly man, however, he focuses on gifts that are about new life.
What also drives Messer is zeroing in on people that have helped the community.
I have had so much good happen to me in my life that I didn’t even feel I earned, that I believe I should pass it on,” he said. “The person doesn’t even have to say, ‘Bob Messer gave it to me.’ What’s important is that it is special to them and it will last as long as they do. And that goodwill rewards me more than it ever will the recipient.”
Of course, it takes more than just motivation. Messer has carpentry skills that have been honed since youth. The scale of his projects may have shrunk and the speed in which it takes to do them has changed.
But Messer’s heart has only enlarged.
Listen to the full interview on THE AGE SAGE which is free on your smartphone and computer in the PODCAST app. The writer may be reached at 518-435-1250 or by writing [email protected].