Nick Gervasi sauntered on to the Lopez Community Land Trust construction site of Morgantown in 1992. He was a skilled commercial and residential construction manager and was keen on teaching those “who didn’t know one end of a hammer from another.” These traits made Nick unusual and a highly prized employee. He was thoughtful, had a great sense of humor and a following. Men and women, young and old, sought him out for advice and good company. On Morgantown, three grandmothers (Helen, Pat and Amalia) adored Nick. He set them up shingling the homes. None of them could climb a ladder so he laid out the shingle courses and when they could reach no further, they would move on. Nick did layout seven times on seven houses and got a big kick out of them completing each house just so high. Coming from the professional world of construction, this was a first for him, and he enjoyed it immensely.
Nick went on to work with us on Coho (1994), Innisfree (2003), Common Ground (2009) and Salish Way (2014) – 38 homes for 38 families. He had a great work ethic, was a master at scheduling and sequencing tasks and loved all aspects of the site layout puzzle. He taught many a young person how to use instruments and tools and was forever chuckling at just how creative people could be in getting it all messed up. Eventually everything got built and Nick maintained his sense of humor.
After we heard Nick passed away, a group of us broke out in song, “Take me Out to the Ball Game.” We cried and laughed. We were sad to hear about Nick’s passing but happy that his last night was spent doing one of the things he loved most – watching a good game of baseball with a friend and seeing his team win. It’s hard to imagine Nick being gone from this world. He was so present, full of knowledge and willing to share a chuckle.
LCLT – Lopez Island