I Noticed His Work


Steve Nauman

When I started school at 5 years old, I soon noticed a man working constantly inside and outside of the school building. This man looked like he really liked his job, and I could even tell that he was very good at everything he did!

Although I didn’t know who this man was, I figured he must be very important. I even thought this must be his school building that we are all using, because he’s the one who fixes everything, keeps the place clean and he must have at least 100 keys on his belt….. Yes…. he was the custodian! But at the age of 5, I didn’t know what that word meant! I simply thought it was a title for the most important person in the school….. after all, he was the only one who seemed to be taking care of the place!

I really enjoyed watching that man work, because he really enjoyed his work! And it didn’t take long to learn the custodian’s name because he was always being called on to fix something….. His name was Mr Olds. I remember one time we were told to put our coats on because the boiler had broken down and the classrooms were getting chilly. But our teacher said “it will be warm soon because Mr Olds is working on it!”  Whether it was a movie projector, a film strip projector, a record player, a window that wouldn’t open-or close, the answer was always “get Mr Olds”.

He kept the outside of the school—the lawn, the playgrounds, the ball fields and the shrubbery all neatly mowed and trimmed. He even used to paint trim on the building and do some woodworking projects at various times around the school….. and he always seemed to be happy while he was working! 

As I reflect on “hard working Mr Olds”, I also think about 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.”

It’s been over 55 years since I first saw him working, but I still remember Mr Olds because…. I Noticed His Work!

Till Next Time…..

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Steve Nauman

These wonderful posts are written by my good friend Steve Nauman. He lives on a farm in northern Indiana with his wife, Ruth.

He owned and operated a machine shop until 2020. These stories come from the people and experiences that made lasting impressions upon him as he grew up in his father's general store in Upstate NY and later in his own business.