THE SIGNIFICANCE OF STOOPS

Larry Calvin Stoops – locally known simply as Stoops – is 71 and retired.

As a child, he lived out of a car with his parents; they followed the harvest seasons west to California. Settling in Trenton, his father ran an auto salvage yard for many years.

His upbringing around machines turned into a lifelong interest. Once he bought 42 cars at an auction in a single day. He would have bought more had his wife not cut him off.

While working at a food processing plant, Stoops sustained a brain infection from tainted meat. Today, diabetes, sleep apnea and a daily regime of pills are part of his life.

As a tinkerer and collector, Stoops’ curious mind pushes the limits of health and elderly independence.

Claiming a small hill on the west side of town, Stoops has carved out a life significant not for his eccentricity, but for his contentment.









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Stoops drives home at dusk. At his age, he tries not to drive after dark.
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A broken door handle requires a reach as Stoops arrives at his downtown warehouse where he will work to sort hundreds of pieces of out-of-production automobile glass.
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Stoops plays with his youngest granddaughter, Shaina Lee Frisbie, 4, at Eastside Park. He and his wife watch Shaina two days a week.
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A family portrait hangs near the front doorway. Stoops has three daughters and ten grandchildren who all live in the Trenton area.
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Stoops' wife Barbara combs his hair in their kitchen before leaving the house.
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Stoops has type two diabetes and daily insulin shots have left his stomach dotted with quarter-sized green bruises. He is trying to wean himself off of the drug.
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Despite his age and health problems, Stoops still finds great pleasure in undertaking repair and restoration projects.
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Stoops' wife Barbara hands him a wrench as the two worked to install a lock on homemade barn doors.
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Stoops’ wife Barbara gives him a hand pouring chicken noodle soup at supper time. “Our marriage is all about compromise,” he says.
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Stoops turns on an apparatus which helps reduce the effects of sleep apnea. The machine's noise sometimes makes sleep difficult for his wife.
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Stoops is currently building two ultralight aircraft. A house fire in February 1996 destroyed his one-seater helicopter.
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At an event raising awareness for breast cancer, Stoops glances up at the sky before a balloon release, where he penned a tribute to a daughter with breast cancer.