John Augeri's hands have helped build, and rebuild Middlefield.
So it was no surprise this week to find the 79-year-old chiseling away at the brick and mortar of Town Hall, replacing what mother nature and age have worn away.
"I'm just giving it what it needs. Like the old saying goes, 'Just fix what's broke,'" Augeri says.
A self-employed home builder for more than 60 years, Augeri learned masonry as a teenager from his father, Salvatore, who emigrated from Sicily in 1917 and "proceeded to establish himself with only the shirt on his back."
"Not only could he work with his hands but he had a truck," says Augeri, recalling his father's Model T truck which was often used to transport workers employed by the Arrigoni Brothers in Durham.
Augeri built his first two houses in Middlefield before enlisting in the Air Force at the age of 19. His military service lasted four years.
"When I came home I picked up where I left off," he says.
In the 1970's, Augeri built Lyman Orchards' Apple Barrel store, as well as the farm's golf clubhouse. He also had a hand in the first addition to the Middlefield firehouse and construction at the Levi E. Coe Library.
And there are the homes in Durham and Middletown which he built, and too many renovations to count.
Of course, counting got a little harder last summer when Augeri lost three fingers above the knuckle in an accident.
"They said 'See, if you would've retired you wouldn't have lost those fingers.' I says, 'You know what? I still got my head,'" Augeri laughs.