No, this post is not about my vexed love life; it's about yet another old carpenter passing on a little before his time. Awhile back I mentioned that two old laborers I used to work with had passed and yesterday we found out that ol' Dominecker, as we called him, had died on Saturday. His son found him sitting on his front porch, dead. He had only been retired about 8 months I believe. They had wanted him to go to Georgia for that big industrial job but he finally admitted that those sorts of jobs were just too much for him nowadays and so he went on and retired. Dominecker (yes, like the chicken) wasn't his real name, which was similarly spelled, but that's what everybody called him because his real last name was somewhat hard to pronounce for a lot of people.
I would like to say a lot of warm, fuzzy things about him but he just wasn't that kind of guy. His favorite pet name for the guys, especially the apprentices, was "dumbass". He was an ornery, stubborn, aggravating old fart. And I'm being nice really but he kinda grew on ya. Kinda like moss or something itchy. He was the only man we knew that could (or would) chew tobacco, smoke and drink beer (or coffee) all at the same time. You think I'm kidding; I'm not. Needless to say, his health habits were atrocious and we had sometimes theorized that he had actually died some years ago and was just too damn stubborn to admit it. He was one of the oldtimers that helped give us construction workers our bad reputation, something which probably made him very proud.
He was also our only other certified welder, besides myself and I worked with him a few times on welding projects. He was actually very personable and nice to me and confided to me once that it always made him real nervous to have to weld structural steel, which would be inspected. He was afraid his welds would fail and hurt someone.
One of the guys mused at lunch today that he had probably gone out on his porch Saturday morning to yell or shoot at something. Probably. I just hope it was quick for him and not painful. We'll miss you Dominecker, mainly because we know it will irritate the crap out of you.