By Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal
WILTON — Conrad Daoust Jr. has been cutting, splitting and loading firewood for more than six decades.
He turns 80 on Tuesday and prides himself on being “solid as a rock.”
He is 6 feet 2 inches tall and 229 pounds, he said firewood keeps him in shape.
“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 of his wife, Terri, and remembering their son, Joey, who died in 2014, helps him keep going.
“I work seven days a week,” he said. “I handle wood every day, two cords, sometimes four.”
He uses a chain saw and a wood-splitter, and gets help from Jake Plummer, 29, of Wilton.
“I can saw over two cords of 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 hardwood,” 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 said. “I put in an eight-hour day. I do not know anyone who is 80 and doing what I do.”