'I'll mow 'til I go'

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Retired teacher still mowing, going strong at 72

By Bobby Brockman


A lot of people in this area make a living working in yards — in a business or working as an individual.

One of the busiest has to be retired teacher Oval Tapscott.

The 72-year-old Campbellsville resident taught for 32 years (29 at Green County and three in Northern Kentucky (Kenton County) mainly in the business field.

But when he retired 18 years ago, he knew for sure he was not going to sit at home.

Years before he had worked and helped his son before going “full-time” for the last 18 years.

Tapscott’s wife, Brenda, taught and retired from the Taylor County school system in 2008.

Tapscott currently has “contracts” with 38 customers and mows others at time, giving him more than 40 jobs per week.

“I’m out pretty much every day,” Taptscott admitted, as he trims shrubbery and other yard work on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. He only mows two or three yards on Monday since it’s so early in the week. He also fertilizes and reseeds yards.

Taptscott uses Fridays and Saturdays for a make-up day if he is rained out on one on his regular Tuesday-Thursday schedule.

“I don’t hire anyone to help. I do everything my self,” Tapscott offered. “I see people walking up and down the road and I know they’re saying ‘How is that old gray-haired man still moving?’

“I like to work. I feel lucky, I haven’t missed a day in 18 years. Any elective surgeries I put off until the winter, so I’ll be ready go to go the next year.”

He sometimes mows two or three lots that join each other, adding, “Makes it easier that I don’t have to get on and off the mower as much.”

Tapcott’s season starts with yard work from the third week of March through mid-November, and he does other work up until Dec. 10 (when all the leaves have fallen).

He also weed eats and cleans up the driveways when he blows grass on them.

Retirement from mowing is not in Tapscott’s immediate future.

“I’ll mow ‘til I go,” Tapscott laughed. “My health may change, and I may slow down a little, but I can’t see myself not mowing ‘some’ yards.

“I don’t need a business card or my name on my truck,” Tapscott said about his lack of advertising his trade. “But, I’m not saying I would turn down any more yards.”