Regardless of what the rustic bench on a street in the city of A Estrada, in northwestern Spain, may lack in finish and elegance, it more than makes up for the devotion that went into its creation.
The light wood seat was improvised after Manuel Souto, an 82-year-old retired turner, decided to find a place for his wife to sit and rest on her daily walks. María Souto, 79, with osteoarthritis, walks with a cane and finds her morning exercise increasingly difficult.
After efforts to pressure the local city council to install benches along its usual route failed, Souto took matters into his own hands and headed to the local DIY store.
“The bank took me about half an hour,” he said. The voice of Galicia. “I bought some wood but I had a saw at home because I still have my workshop. It was just a matter of sawing and nailing and I was done almost immediately. “
Souto admits that the finished product could use a little more sanding and varnishing, but says it’s tough enough and gets the job done. A local store owner gave his permission for Souto to put the bench outside his store, and it was installed overnight last week as a surprise to Maria.
“When she saw it, she was delighted,” Souto told the online newspaper. Nius. “I got a kiss and a hug.”
The bench is already proving popular with the people of A Estrada, but Souto wants it to be used by those who need a break the most, hence the message, written in marker, on the back: “Respect. For mallores” (Be thoughtful. For older people).
Some have pointed out that mallores should be written greater, but Souto is not bothered by the mistake.
“I didn’t go to school,” he told Nius. “I started working when I was a child and I worked my whole life. Like my wife. The poor thing has never stopped working. “
Souto jokes that his efforts to sit down like guerrillas could have consequences: “If I go to jail, someone will have to bring me tobacco,” but so far, the only consequences have been a great deal of affection and the strange request for a similar bank. .
“Some neighbors have contacted me to ask me to do another one, but I have said no,” he said. “I only did one and it’s just for my wife.”