Natchez man keeps working despite holiday

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 30, 2002

NATCHEZ &045; They say a woman’s work is never done, but

responsibilities don’t follow gender lines. When it comes down to it, no one’s work is ever done.

Willie Jackson, a county road maintenance worker, was in the middle of his winter vacation this past weekend, but he said he hasn’t had much of a chance to rest.

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&uot;When I’m off work,&uot; Jackson said, &uot;there’s always work here.&uot;

First it was Christmas &045; putting up decorations, wrapping presents &045; then the yuletide aftermath &045; taking the decorations down, cleaning up all the wrapping paper and boxes, putting toys together for his 6-year-old son, Deanthony, and his 2-year-old daughter, Dayna.

On Saturday, Jackson got out his rake to spiff up the yard before the end of the year.

&uot;I cleaned up once for Christmas, and I have to turn around and do the same thing for New Year’s,&uot; he said.

But no sooner had he begun that chore when another one popped up: Deanthony’s new bike was still a little tall for the quickly growing youngster, so Jackson installed some auxiliary wheels.

&uot;There’s always something,&uot; Jackson laughed. &uot;You’ve got to put bicycles together when you was raking leaves.&uot;

After fixing the bike, Deanthony rode away up Oak Lane, leaving Jackson to finish up with the leaves

That wasn’t the end of it, though.

In a few days, Jackson had the debris from bottle rockets, jumping jacks and Roman candles to look forward to.

&uot;We’re going to have to get fireworks,&uot; he said, &uot;and that’ll leave more paper in the yard. Hopefully there won’t be anymore after that.&uot;

But on Jan. 1, it’s back to work. Barring and emergencies, Jackson said his work isn’t too much different from his responsibilities at

home on his time off.

There’s grass to cut, leaves to clean up, trees to trim, potholes to fill.

&uot;It’s the same old routine,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s just more massive.&uot;

But Jackson said he never knows what’s going to happen on the county’s many winding road. &uot;You might have a bridge wash out or a tree fall down,&uot; he said. &uot;You just never know.&uot;