Two Carpenters, a Half-Century of Building
One job: Wielding hammers, pounding nails, sharing laughs
In the slide show above, Joe Campo and Frank Procopio talk about their work as carpenters, mutual respect, and working until you’re 81.
Day in, day out, nearly 10,000 people show up at Boston University — not to go to school, but to go to work. Often unsung, their efforts make everything possible. This is one in a series of stories about jobs on campus and the people who do them.
If you’ve ever tuned in to Car Talk on National Public Radio, you have a sense of what it is like to interview carpenters Joe Campo and Frank Procopio. You’ll get an intriguing answer to any question, but only after an avalanche of heavily accented banter and belly laughs.
“They are the heart and soul of the place,” says a colleague at Boston University’s carpentry shop on Ashford Street, “but don’t believe a word they tell you!”
The two have built, repaired, and renovated wooden creations around campus for longer than most students have been alive, but say the job hasn’t gotten old.
Campo, 81, has been at the University since 1978 and wants to stay as long as he is fit and healthy. Procopio, a quarter century younger, joined in 1987.
“I hope I’m here as long as Joe’s been here,” Procopio says. “Maybe I’ll even be here longer than him, but I’m glad he hasn’t retired yet.”
“You’re never doing the same thing over, it’s always something different,” says Campo. “You get a lot of satisfaction when you build something and you see it on display.”
Each insists he could not have a better partner, but Campo shakes his head and flashes Procopio a warning: “Don’t build me up too much.”
“He taught me everything I know. I’m telling the truth!” laughs Procopio.
Edward A. Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments