Man volunteers time to beautify alleyways
All it takes is a little effort from each person in the community to give a neighbourhood a homey feeling, but one man is going all out, whacking away grass from Merritt’s alleys almost every day.
Since spring Steve Thomas has grabbed his weed whacker and has taken on the task of ridding the alleyways of tall grass.
“As soon as the snow was off the ground, I was out there,” he said. “It just gives me a good feeling, to get something accomplished.”
His neighbours have taken notice and they appreciate his effort.
“A few of the senior women offer me a beer every once in a while,” he mentioned.
Thomas is waiting for the grass to spread out far enough so he can use a lawnmower.
That would make the job much easier, as the one alleyway alone extends several blocks.
He lives near the alley between Jackson and Coldwater Avenue from Houston to Blair Street where he frequently chops the grass.
“I also got started on one behind Menzies Street over there around Douglas Street,” he said.
Thomas has lived in Merritt since 1994, after he was injured when he he hit a moose with his vehicle.
“She landed on top of my car and busted my neck and my back.
“I was laid up for so many years and people helped me all the time,” he explained. “I thought now is the time to give back to someone else. I get a sense of paying it forward.”
Thomas used to operate heavy machinery at Similco Mines near Princeton before retiring.
“The only real exercise I get is doing this,” he said. “My grandkids take up a good portion of my time too.”