50 out of Village Christian Church in Burbank. The teen heard about
the need for some construction work at the Los Angeles Live Steamers
Railroad Museum from coordinator Don Emmer. The museum is a nonprofit
organization that educates people about railroad history and live
steam, gas-mechanical and electronic railroad technology.
The project was to tear up and replace a section of buckled
sidewalk and build a retaining wall to prevent the hillside's
decomposed granite face from falling down. The area of construction
was along a work entrance to the museum.
"It was in pretty bad shape," Jonathan said. "We leveled the floor
and there was tree roots, a pipe system ... you could tell the huge
roots down there uplifted a big section."
With the help of his troop, and with donations from Angelus Block,
Vons and Virgil's hard- ware store, Jonathan managed the re-cementing
of the sidewalk last week and the construction of the wall this week.
"It was really labor intensive," he said, laughing. "I was really
dumb in construction."
Not anymore. Scoutmaster Mark Seip knew the project would be
challenging and hard to do once he heard the proposal. The project,
however, was something he knew Jonathan could do.
"It's the management process. That's part of being an Eagle
Scout," Seip said.
The experience has been educational for Jonathan's mother, Stella
Lopez, as well. She drove her first diesel truck filled with cement
blocks and 50 cement bags, weighing 90 pounds each, down the Golden
State (5) Freeway during rush hour. Lopez also stood by and watched
her son deal with unexpected obstacles, like the old sprinkler system
beneath the sidewalk and how to separate the concrete from the thick
concrete netting beneath it.
"It was quite labor intensive for an Eagle Scout project of sorts.
I remember reading on the Internet about building little bird
houses," she said, laughing. "What a contrast!"