Over the years I have done business with a small welding shop in Elimsport. The place is occupied by two Amishmen, John, the proprietor, and the only employee I have ever seen there who is known to me as Steve. I very much admire these two for their hard work, their very good work, their ability to listen and to understand what it is I want done without the need for drawings, and for the very reasonable prices they charge. John is not around much but Steve is and can always be relied upon to put down what he is working on to chat for a while. In addition to working at the shop, Steve and his family are small-holding farmers. A few years ago I had the opportunity to sell him some dairy goats and it was as a result of this transaction that I got to know a bit about him. He no longer milks goats but is, instead, raising eggs for the local organic market … several thousand a week I believe. Even though I get along well with these two, and Steve knows me by name when I stop in after a long absence, I didn’t know how either would feel about a request to photograph them and their work space. The weather here continues to be terrible so I had time for a trip over-the-mountain today. When I got to the shop Steve was talking to a fellow about working up a replacement grate for a wood stove. The white-haired fellow noticed me, turned and said, “Won’t be more than a couple of more minutes, we’re only designing a Space Shuttle.” After a of animated discussion the fellow picked up a piece of chalk and drew a rough sketch on Steve’s welding table. A few exacting dimensions were then communicated and the fellow turned for his truck, opened the door, greeted his very patient dog, and that was that. Steve turned to greet me. I didn’t waste time with small talk and asked if he minded if I took a few photos … he smiled and invited me to do so. I spent the next little while taking photos as he worked on a brush hog with a pneumatic grinder. The place is off the grid and is powered by a diesel generator which provides electricity for welders and cutters and powers an air compressor. When he was done he said that he was going home for lunch but that I should feel free to stick around and to take as many photos as I liked. I did stay a few more minutes. The place is quite fascinating and so much more quiet when John and Steve aren’t there.



13 thoughts on “Elimsport

    • Yeah … you know, this guy (Steve) does seem to enjoy his work. Every time he’s stopped to chat he’s always seemed in a really good mood. Never in a rush. Perhaps you are right … that he’s simply at peace with his life. Lucky guy indeed. D

  1. Wow! If I ever need a wrench, I know where to find one! Who knew a welding shop could be so colorful. Guess the lousy weather wasn’t a total loss! These Amish workplaces are a sign that time does still standstill in some areas of the country. Who would leave a customer all alone in their shop and not worry that something would be missing upon their return?

    • I cannot recall now outsideauthority whether I had replied to your comment … if so, forgive me for doing so once more. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I know lots of folks who would prefer a workshop full of new, sparkling, tools. I prefer work spaces with old, much used, equipment – like the one shown in this post. This welding shop was a great place to look about. Everything was well used – and each implement spoke of lots of hard work. It was a delight. Thanks again for your interest. D

  2. What is it about workshops? I grew up in my dad’s and I can smell the grease and heat from those pictures. I feel so at home in places like that. Thanks Dave πŸ™‚

    • Absolutely. For me it was like being in a Candy Store. Around each corner there was something else that appealed. I was too timid to ask to take the photos I really wanted (and had been day dreaming about all the way up there) … one of Steve’s hands (they really spoke of work … you know what I mean) … and one of the front of his coat (it was singed and spoke to his work as well). I need to be more forward as a photographer but don’t think that’ll happen. Glad the images worked for you. D

  3. I absolutely love your photo of the wrenches and other tools hanging in the shop – there are just so many wonderful colors! It looks very much like something I would buy at a booth in an art show or craft fair. Thank you so much for posting so frequently and thoughtfully; it’s a great retreat from grading and job applications. πŸ™‚

    • It’s been nice to know that you’re out there reading … thanks! I’ve been so frustrated by the recent poor weather that I was determined to grab a few shows yesterday – despite the rain! Job applications! What’s up? If you’ve got extended news to report you can do so a bit less publicly at my LHUP address. D

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