PLEASANTON -- Of the 79,201 residents of Pleasanton, only two are known as the Fix-It Guys: 80-year-old Rick Levesque and 95-year-old Phil Wire.
When Levesque and his wife Kathy moved into the Stoneridge Creek retirement community after a 40-year career in nuclear physics at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he needed a hobby and fast.
"After twiddling my thumbs for a few weeks, I said I gotta do something, I'm going nuts," said Levesque.
After building a desk and a model wooden ship, Levesque found himself in the wood shop five hours a day, seven days a week. He and Wire, who he met at Stoneridge Creek, have carved out a niche as the Fix-It Guys for their fellow residents.
"It's a continuum of furniture pieces, broken lamps, all kinds of crazy things that are broken come into this shop," said Levesque. "We have built a reputation with the residents - if it's broken, bring it to the shop. They'll fix everything."
The craziest thing they've ever fixed?
"One of them was a gentleman's dentures. No joke," Levesque said. "He pulls out his upper palette and he says 'My dentist hasn't been able to fix the burr on this tooth and it's causing an ulcer.' A quick pass over with a Dremel and it was all smoothed out."
"The hardest was a wine barrel, making a bar out of it," Wire, a former salesman. On Monday, he was working on a hexagonal planter box.
It's not just about busy hands keeping minds young here. The work of serving their fellow residents is a secondary priority to camaraderie.
"We gripe about the music, we gripe about the sawdust on the floor, all kinds of things," said Levesque. "But we gripe with a smile. We have a good time."
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