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.
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.
Stoops plays with his youngest granddaughter, Shaina Lee Frisbie, 4, at Eastside Park. He and his wife watch Shaina two days a week.
A family portrait hangs near the front doorway. Stoops has three daughters and ten grandchildren who all live in the Trenton area.
Stoops' wife Barbara combs his hair in their kitchen before leaving the house.
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.
Despite his age and health problems, Stoops still finds great pleasure in undertaking repair and restoration projects.
Stoops' wife Barbara hands him a wrench as the two worked to install a lock on homemade barn doors.
Stoops’ wife Barbara gives him a hand pouring chicken noodle soup at supper time. “Our marriage is all about compromise,” he says.
Stoops turns on an apparatus which helps reduce the effects of sleep apnea. The machine's noise sometimes makes sleep difficult for his wife.
Stoops is currently building two ultralight aircraft. A house fire in February 1996 destroyed his one-seater helicopter.
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.