Saturday, January 21, 2017

Strong to the Finich!

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm strong to the finich
'Cause I eat me spinach.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.

Our site supervisor for the Habitat for Humanity build in Delray Beach, FL uses the sobriquet Popeye--as in Popeye, the cartoon character.

Even after two weeks of working under Popeye's leadership, I didn't know his real name but his collection of Popeye shirts rivals the number of Habitat T-shirts we are accumulating with every build we participate in.  Unfortunately, I snapped Popeye's picture on the day he wore an incongruous New England Patriots tee, the only day he was out of character.

In every Popeye cartoon, the sailor is invariably put into what seems like an impossible situation, only to use his strength, ingenuity and oversimplified diplomatic arguments to emerge the victor.

I'm one tough Bazookas
Which hates all Palookas
Wot ain't on the up and square.
I biffs 'em and buffs 'em
And always out roughs 'em
But none of 'em gets nowhere.

When Tim and I and the six other Care-A-Vanners on our team arrived on the scene, it seemed a herculean task to take the shells of two houses and outfit them with interior walls and shingle roofs.

I was the only palooka, the one who had never done either job before, but I quickly learned.  

All it took was a willingness to swing a hammer.


Our teammates this time ran the gamut from Lee who has worked over 50 Habitat builds

Diane & Mike

to Mike and Diane who were on their very first foray.  

Marie & Ray

Ray and Marie from Maine try to volunteer at least once a year for Habitat.  


And Ralph brought a wealth of carpentry experiences to this job site.  

New friendships were made as we framed the walls in the homes of the Singletary and Cantave/Jerome families.

Laura is in the center between Mike and Tim.

Laura's house was a rehab project in another neighborhood.  We spent Saturday morning priming the exterior and in return, she fed us hamburgers and hot dogs--but no spinach--for lunch.

If anyone dares to risk my "Fisk",
It's "Boff" an' it's "Wham" un'erstan'?
So keep "Goo Be-hav-or"
That's your one life saver
With Popeye the Sailor Man.

Although Popeye didn't throw any punches like his cartoon alter ego, he did keep us, plus 60 students from Lynn University and another group of 20 volunteers from a nearby 55-and-older community on our good behavior.  

And the seemingly arduous task of roofing two houses was accomplished in just three days.

Lee, Tim, Cindy, Ralph, Marie & Ray

Plenty of time to spare for a celebratory lunch--but again no spinach--at Benny's on the Beach, a recommendation from Popeye.

Oh, and by the way, Popeye's given name is Donald which conjures up another cartoon character, Donald Duck.  Na!  Popeye is a much better fit.


  1. Looks like a pretty great effort of Popeye and you all! Congratulations on another build.

  2. Thanks, Randy! Popeye was a good manager. He organized the delivery of materials and the timing of inspections perfectly. Furthermore, he was a good teacher, instructing all the volunteers so everyone spent their day in meaningful work. He was terrific!