WILTON — Conrad Daoust Jr. lifted his chainsaw Friday and went to work cutting round-wood into 16-inch pieces. He has been cutting, splitting and loading firewood for more than six decades.
He turns 80 years old Tuesday but looking at him one would know it. He is 6-foot, 2-inches tall and weighs 229 pounds and is proud of being “solid as a rock.” He demonstrated his fitness by punching his stomach with both fists and there were no ripples.
Doing firewood keeps him in shape, he said.
“I got started when I was 14 years old,” he said. “I have been doing it nearly all of my life.”
“I do 600 cords a year,” said Daoust — who goes by “Junior.”
The owner of JR’s Firewood in Wilton, said the dedication to him by his wife, Terri, and remembering their son, Joey, who died in 2014, also help keep him going.
“I work seven days a week,” he said. “I handle wood every day, two cords, sometimes four.”
He uses a chainsaw and a wood-splitter and has an assistant, Jake Plummer, 29, of Wilton, who Daoust, said sometimes cannot keep up with him.
“I can saw over two cords a wood in 35 minutes, all 16 inches,” he said. “I do it because I want to and I like it. If not I wouldn’t be in the shape I am.”
He deals in hardwood: beech, red maple and yellow birch.
“All good firewood, good hard wood,” he said.
He goes to bed between 11 and 11:30 p.m. and is up between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. every day to prepare for work. He arrives at the job site at about 4:30 or 5 a.m.
“I just get into it all of the time. I love it. It keeps me busy,” Daoust who goes by “Junior” said. “I put in an eight-hour day. I do not know anyone who is 80 and doing what I do.”