NORWAY — It may be a close call, but Ben Perkins said Monday that he can weed the entire south side of Main Street from Danforth Street to the Rowe Elementary School in time to pick up his children as they got out of school.
“I'm the guy who originally started this,” said Perkins of the job he has been doing for the past couple of weeks. It will eventually take the weeds out of the sidewalks on both sides of Main Street from the intersection of Paris and Main streets to Butters Park on the west entrance to downtown.
Wearing a neon orange vest so motorists, pedestrians or even bicyclists can see him clearly as he sits on the edge of the granite curbing, Perkins takes his gloved hands to pull the weeds or pry them loose using a tool that has bent from the work.
“If I didn't like the job, I'd chose something else,” he said with a smile from under the “Miami Inc.” cap he wears. “The toughest part is pulling the weeds. Everything else is mainly simple.”
Perkins is working for the town of Norway to help pay back some of the general assistance he is receiving from the town to help he and his family maintain basic necessities such as rent while he is out of work. Another person joined him under the same program this week to help him pull weeds on Main Street.
Perkins said he must work 29 hours for Norway and was given several jobs to choose from, including getting the moss away from the town hall. He chose the sidewalk job.
Perkins said the trick to staying injury free while doing the work is to sit on the ground when weeding and hope it rains the night before to loosen up the roots.
Pointing to his co-worker across the street who was stooping over from the waist to pull weeds, Perkins said, “I keep telling him to sit down so he doesn't hurt his back.”