Chuck Moore, a retired Renaissance man, who has been in construction most of his 73 years, has a new project -- he's calling it, appropriately enough, "Just Older Youth," or "JOY."
Moore wants to help his neighbors and says he knows other retired people who want to put their skills to work, too.
He recently filed the articles of incorporation for his non-profit organization and has already completed one project.
Moore said Wednesday that he had talked to county officials about Just Older Youth. He got a call from the county to help with some work after they received a bid for $4,000 to put in a tile floor for an elderly Payson resident who was allergic to her carpeting.
Among those who went out and helped on the job was 90-year-old Bill Tanner. Together, six workers -- James Wilson, Allen Diercks, Ray Lambert, Blair Ressler, Robert Scott and Tanner -- put in more than 52 volunteer man-hours on the job, using materials supplied by the county. The cost to the county was minimal.
"Another lady needs some weeds removed," Moore said. "I just want to help whoever needs it. If we work together as an organization, we can make a difference."
Moore said he hopes to take "JOY" outside of Payson. "I hope we can go statewide, maybe even national," he said. "Word of mouth has spread. People have said, 'Just put me on your list.'"
He said he has always been involved with construction and enjoys creating things. "It started when I was in high school," he said. "I worked in construction a little bit before I went into the service."
He was working as an apprentice carpenter building ammunition depots for the war effort at Grand Allen, Neb. When another job opened up in Hastings, Neb., Moore's home town, he went to work there.
"I had a dream to be a surgeon," he said. "I was pretty good with my hands."
But after the war, Moore got a job in a cabinet shop, and liked what he was doing. His dream of being a surgeon never materialized, but his desire to help others remained.
When he moved to Payson in 1983, from the house he built out of plans from Good Housekeeping magazine 10 years before, Moore just had to keep building.
"Construction has been my life, quite a bit of it -- the enjoyable part of my life," he said. "I've always enjoyed the fact that you can create things, sometimes out of nothing."
Moore did just that when he moved to Payson. The garage and workshop attached to his home on Park Drive were built by hand out of used lumber, solid slab doors that he got for $2 apiece in the Valley. His workshop is filled with tools and equipment, and benches to hold them made out of scrap materials.
"The best part of it is, this kid's got toys," he said. "And I enjoy all of 'em."
He continues to build cabinets for his wife, Ardis, and tables and outside structures for landscaping. The couple have been married 55 years and have five children. He said he would like to teach his son about construction so that when he retires, he too will find joy in being creative.
Moore has been a deputy sheriff, a supervisor for Western Electric, an insurance agent, a photographer, and a business owner. He brought his coin collection with him when he came to Payson and opened the Old Mill Coin Shop on Bonita.
The word "retired" just doesn't seem to fit this Renaissance man.
He enjoys building and fixing and creating and wants to teach his skills to others.
Moore said he welcomes volunteers of all skill levels who want to work with him. He also welcomes donations of money, materials and supplies from individuals and businesses.
"People who retired 10-15 years ago didn't plan for today's inflated prices for labor and materials," he said. "Maybe a spouse is missing in the home. Maintenance for the property is needed, but the money and knowledge is not available."
For information on Just Older Youth (JOY), contact Chuck Moore at 472-8030.