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.



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