Cold work: ‘You’ve got to keep going’

Posted:  Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 8:15am

Mike Lucas, owner of M.E. Lucas Forest Products on Old Dresden Road in Wiscasset, went to work on one cup of coffee Friday morning because he had to get to an early job in Woolwich.

A Murphy’s Corner Road property owner was having him clean up and remove tree debris from the Oct. 30 windstorm. Working with Lucas was Jefferson trucker Lloyd Brown, who would be transporting the materials for him afterward, Lucas said. Lucas was selling the logs to Robbins Lumber in Searsmont and the pulp to Verso paper mill in Jay.

“I do firewood, too,” Lucas added, smiling, after handing a pen from his truck to a Wiscasset Newspaper reporter whose pen had frozen shortly into note-taking in the roadside interview.

It was -16F when Lucas left home for the Woolwich job. He works outside every day, whatever the temperature. He said -25F was the coldest he recalled from his 35 years in the business his father Burleigh Lucas started on Weston Road in Woolwich, where Lucas grew up. “He started the business and I continued it.” Lucas moved it to Wiscasset about 10 years ago.

In long johns and other winter wear including a Dickies coat Friday, he said he bundles up but the cold still bothers him. “Oh, yeah,” he said, laughing. “But you’ve got to keep going. It’s business.”

His father died of cancer a few years after passing the business onto him. “When my father ran the show, he would make a fire and keep adding to it so we could keep warm that way. We worked hard and we played hard.” Lucas doesn’t do the fires at work sites because now he would have to get permits for them, he said.

After the job in Woolwich, he planned to have another coffee and probably breakfast, he said. If interested in buying firewood, call him at 208-7633.