Equip teenage boys with machetes, lopper shears, bow saws and steel rakes, then channel their energy and watch as unruly stands of brush that are thorny, deep and thick bite the dust.
On occasion a loud “Whoop!” accompanies the felling.
Outfit a swarm of teenage girls with brushes, rollers, scrapers and ladders, and in short order a house and its trim gleam with new paint.
Add the spreading of mulch. Add gutters and downspouts donated and installed by a Salem company. Add other aesthetic touches and a 75-year-old homeowner is moved to the edge of tears.
“I don’t deserve this,” said Ralph Thomas, who has lived in his three-bedroom ranch house in the 600 block of Chamberlain Lane in Salem for nearly 40 years.
To read the rest of the story by Roanoke Times reporter Duncan Adams from Sunday’s paper, click here.