In the Stoneridge Creek senior living community in Pleasanton reside two men who share a passion for fixing things that may be broken or need a repair of some sort.
Rick Levesque spent his working career as a design engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. When Phil Wire retired from his sales career, he decided he needed a hobby almost immediately.
The two men are now the most active members of the "Fix-It Group" and continue the enjoyable and in-demand woodworking daily.
"We have been here since the beginning, so seven or eight years ago," Levesque told the Weekly. "Phil and I spend four to six hours a day here in the shop, seven days a week."
The pair -- 96-year-old Wire and 80-year-old neighbor Levesque -- have happily taken on the duties of the community woodshop in hopes of helping residents with a variety of home-related needs.
They both discovered that they liked working with their hands. Whether it was helping to repair furniture or carving a McDonald's meal out of wood, they are always eager to get their hands on it.
"I get into all the little things and Rick gets into the bigger things," said Wire, who does all of the mechanical work on the equipment. If it breaks down, he fixes it.
Their combined years of experience, along with the other members of the group, has developed into an undeniable skillset.
"Phil is currently working on a chest of drawers and a big bar clock. He is also helping a resident with a cabinet that the corners were broken on." Levesque said.
There are other members of the woodworking group.
"30 guys that are in the woodshop club, but there's only four or five of us who use it regularly. Other guys come in to fix something and leave. Then we don't see them for two years" Levesque said.
Residents of Stoneridge Creek have come to expect that Levesque and Wire are their go-to guys for whatever needs fixing.
"We interact with a lot of folks here that bring stuff that's broken and so we get to meet all the 800 residents here," Levesque said.
The residential community has supported the group by providing a shop and equipment to help them with their repairs and projects.
"There's some crazy stuff in here, pretty much fully equipped. (Stoneridge Creek) built the building and funded a few tools, mostly the big tools like the big saw, and then the rest of the tools were donated to us," Levesque said.
The guys appreciate their shop and equipment provided.
"It's lovely. It's the best in the world. This is our shop." Wire said.
In addition to repairing almost everything for the residents in Stoneridge Creek, the pair also create special projects that they show and sell at craft fairs.
"I made hamburgers and McDonald's wrappers and you'd swear to god it was a McDonald's hamburger," Levesque said.
Along with wooden creations that look like food, they help residents with a number of in-home projects, including refurbishing dressers, elevating tables and couches, making handcrafted serving trays and fixing priceless heirlooms.
"Phil fixed this old clock. When it came in, it was shattered into a million pieces. Now it's as good as new," Levesque said.
Wire and Levesque said they have no plans to slow down or quit their fix-it projects.
"We get up every day and come in. I love it" Wire said. "Love doing the little things that are residential, and whatever they want we will do."
Levesque joked that he won't stop "until they put me in the ground."
For those who would like to come see their work on display, the next craft fair is in November at Stoneridge Creek.