Winds of change blow at the recycling center

Posted on December 2, 2008

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Miss Sadie and the Cowboy wish Garry Arnold a happy retirement

Miss Sadie and the Cowboy wish Garry Arnold a happy retirement

After 20 years of running the Central Lake transfer facility (known to everyone in Torch Lake Township as the recycling center) Garry Arnold is retiring. Miss Sadie and the Cowboy will miss him, because he is a pushover for dogs and always has a pat and a treat for them. I will miss him, too, because he is a nice man and it’s good to run into friendly people on my rounds.

The wind was having a fine old time blustering around the top of the hill when we stopped by today. The Township could make a good thing out of a wind turbine at the site. In spite of the bitter blasts, people kept dropping by to wish Garry a happy retirement. He’ll be there for another couple of weeks, so you have the next two Saturdays and Tuesdays to say good-bye and good luck.

Ward Schanhals and Ray Hall were working the compactor. Ward’s the next generation in the business, and Ray is Garry’s replacement. (Yes, that Ray Hall, whose roofing business looks to be a little slow over the next few months of arctic gales bearing “wintry mix.” I told Ray that one of his billboards had been immortalized in a post on Torch Lake Views. He laughed and told me the cabin in the picture is the “before” illustration.)

Garry says he’s going to take it easy in retirement, enjoy friends and family—he has two sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren—and tend his cats.  He adopted a series of strays, chief among them Tennessee Tuxedo, a dignified elderly tom.  Maybe he’ll take a trip next year. He reminisced a little.  When he started, the landfill was closed but there was no trash compactor yet, and no office—just some dumpsters, a semi box for the recycling program, and a “fish shanty” for the site manager.  What was the best part of the job? “All the nice people,” he told me, “and the nice dogs. There are a lot of both around here.” The worst? Those icy February winds. He won’t miss them a bit.

Ward Schanhals, Garry Arnold and Ray Hall

Ward Schanhals, Garry Arnold and Ray Hall