Senior LIving

By Kit Grode kit.grode@theindependent.com Walk into the home of Jerry and Georgia Overstreet, and you’ll be surrounded by the fruits of Jerry’s lifetime of working with his hands. Only a few of the many pieces of furniture didn’t come from his workshop, and they’re not the pieces you would expect. The dining room set, the coffee table, and the magazine rack were purchased; the glass-door curio cabinet, the music stand, the side tables and the hall tables he made, along with many of the intricate, decorative bowls and figurines that popu- late the shelves. The tall curio cabinet overseeing the Over- streets’ living room is one of his favorite pieces, even as it holds smaller past projects and gifts for Georgia. “I say I make every- thing for her,” Overstreet says, “because I have to make it for somebody. I make it for me, and then I give it to her.” It has taken him a lifetime to get where he is today, retired and comfort- able, working in his backyard workshop to keep himself busy. But he’s had plenty of time to figure out what he does, and doesn’t, want to do. “It’s a pretty long story,” Overstreet cau- tioned. “I did some construction when I was in college in the summer- time, and when I taught school.” After college, Over- street taught music in Yucaipa, Calif., where “one of the students broke the neck off the string bass or something, so I took it over to the shop and the shop teacher helped me fix it,” Over- street said. That began a friend- ship, and also a working relationship where Overstreet was able to use the shop for smaller personal projects. “I piddled with (woodworking) off and on all the time I was teach- ing, making little things here and there,” Over- street said. After teaching, Overstreet went into the construction business, where that piddling eventually paid off in how he shaped his career. “First job I had, I was helping a guy build a house,” Overstreet said. “But then I went to work for a company that was building a hospital. Commerical construction.” Overstreet’s first commercial construction work was on a Safeway store, and then he moved onto the hospital, which took a few years. In that period, Overstreet was involved in every aspect of the construction, from cement work to drywall to installation. The next job he accepted took him to Alliance, Neb., working with a framing business during a housing boom in that area. “We’d frame a house in four days,” Overstreet recalled. “Working 12-hour days, we’d reframe in four days, take three days off, and on Monday we’d start on a new basement and do a new house.” Overstreet moved up to the foreman position, directing two crews and putting up close to 50 houses a year. But as the market slowed, the job changed, and Overstreet took the leap to go into business for himself. “I built some houses. I built a couple of solar houses that were extremely different as far as construc- tionmethods,” Overstreet said. “They were fun to build, though, because you learned something different all the time.” After a while, though, Overstreet tired of working with sheet rock and shingling, the parts of construction that takes a physical toll. And from there, he concentrated more on working in his shop in Alliance, building custom cabinetry. “For the last 20 years or so, I pretty much concentrated on finish work and building kitchen cabinets and custom furniture,” Overstreet said. “When I retired, I kinda kept at it, just for my own amusement.” Overstreet’s workshop in Alliance was quite large, a 50-by-20-foot heated space where he spent hours each day. The move to Grand Island to be closer to family reduced that workspace considerably. “We bought this place, which didn’t even have a double-car garage,” Overstreet said of his Grand Island home, “so I built a little building out there which is about a third the size of my building in Alliance. I had to sell about half the tools I had because I didn’t have room for them all.” He still creates just as much sawdust as before, it seems, although he no longer has a wood-burn- ing stove to feed. It’s probably just as well, considering he “burnt roof of my building,” fittingly enough, on Halloween night. He doesn’t remember if that particular Halloween was also a full moon, but it could have been. After that, though, he got rid of the stove. The smaller space has constrained how big projects can be now, which includes cutting down the larger sheets of wood before they can even enter the workshop. “I could get the (large sheets) in if I didn’t have all the tools in there,” Overstreet said. “I do have too much stuff for the floorspace, but I use them all.” He does miss the big workbench from his Alliance shop. In retirement, Over- street enjoys ‘piddling’ in his shop for four or five hours each day. Some of his favorite projects include segmented decorative bowls, several of which are on display throughout the house, and experimenting with woodworking challenges he’s never attempted. All his life, Evan Hansen has felt invisible. But when a tragedy thrusts him into the center of a rapidly evolving controversy, he is given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to be somebody else. 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Send money with Zelle ® and retire your checkbook GET STARTED TODAY Send money directly from your account to theirs, typically in minutes 1 Send and receive money right from your online or mobile bank account Send money to almost anyone you know 2 using an email address or U.S. mobile phone number For reservations or more information, please call Linda Green at 308-389-8783. www.theindependent.com The Grand Island Independent THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2019 4A senior LIVING HOBBIES & HANDICRAFTS LEFT: Woodworker Jerry Overstreet sits with a couple of his decorative bowls in his Grand Island home. Overstreet's work is often intricate in nature and meticulously produced. BELOW LEFT: Overstreet created this hanging clock, which is seen in the living room of his Grand Island home. BELOW RIGHT: Overstreet also makes furniture, including the head and foot boards for the bed at left, the dresser and the standing mirror at right seen in one of the bedrooms of Overstreet’s Grand Island home. Independent/Barrett Stinson Continued on page 5A ‘Precise and patient’: Overstreet’s woodwork keeps him busy Regularly working 10 hours a day may raise stroke risk By Linda Searing The Washington Post For peoplewho regularly work long hours —defined asmore than 10 hours a day for at least 50 days a year— a recent study suggests an increased risk of stroke. According to research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, working such long hours isassociatedwith29% greater risk stroke than are those who work less. Log long hours for 10 years and the risk appeared to be rise to 45%more than for those who work less. Previous studies have found that irregular shifts, night work and job stress can have negative health ef- fects. In this case, the study did not consider the nature of people’sworkbut focused instead on work duration and used data from 143,592 full-time workers. So how much should people work? The answer depends, of course, on factors that may include someone’s financial situation, family needs and career goals. But to gain the psychological benefits that paid employment often brings — improved self-es- teem, social networking, life satisfaction, for instance— one day a week may be enough, according to an- other study, published on- line in the journal Social Science and Medicine. Thoseresearcherstracked 71,113 people, 16 to 64 years old, as theychangedworking hours over anine-year span. “When I retired, I kinda kept at it (woodworking), just for my own amusement.” — Jerry Overstreet

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