“The guy is outstanding, 82 and he still works as hard as he did when he was 20.”
— David Hahn about his father, Lou Hahn, who recently built a large retaining wall at at 1041 Harris Drive in Craig
The challenge of building a multi-tiered retaining wall from scratch on an uphill slope might seem daunting to a person in their twenties.
But not to Lou Hahn, that exact retaining wall is his latest masterpiece, at the ripe young age of 82.
“He’s amazing,” his son, David Hahn said. “The guy is outstanding, 82 and he still works as hard as he did when he was 20.”
Hahn constructed the wall at David’s new home purchased last fall at 1041 Harris Drive.
“It really needed something,” David said.
When asked if this was his last project, Lou just laughed and said, “Who knows? I get going and I can’t quit sometimes. It was quite the project, I enjoyed it.”
David said the wall required a lot of work and a lot of creative thinking on his father’s part. Taking roughly only three months, the job got done fast.
“It was a lot of work. He’s the mastermind and architect,” David said.
Lou said he came up with the design by lying awake at night.
"I didn't put anything down on paper, I just think about it during the night and the next day go do it," Lou said.
Lou said he worked for the highway for 33 years and the golf course for 20. He used old timbers that had been torn from bridges to construct the wall.
He said when they tore the wood out they normally gave it away, so he took it to the golf course. There he used it to build tee boxes, the sign at the entrance and the timberwork around the clubhouse, among other things.
When he left the golf course, they told him he could take the remaining timber with him.
“I enjoy working with timber, especially in the winter time," Lou said. "You gotta keep busy, it’s a good way to do it."
The wall features planters at every level and stairs leading up the center to the top of the wall, where Lou put a rail to stop his grandchildren's basketball from rolling down the hill.
He estimates the wall is probably about 100 feet one way, 80 or 90 feet the other way and 30 feet up the side of the hill.
“There are a lot of planters in there, it’s a good thing they like to plant,” Lou said.
David said his father is dedicated to his family and community and projects like this are the proof.
“I see him up here working on it about everyday,” David said. “He always makes a drive by when he’s done. He says, ‘I just want to make sure I didn’t screw up on anything.’”
When asked how he keeps up such energy for projects like the wall Lou said, “Well I don’t know. Just get up and keep going I guess. I’ve done four or five projects today already. Getting ready to take a tree down next. I just keep going.”
Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org