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A solid foundation

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Jerry Lancaster, owner of the L&S Transit Mix Concrete Co., stands on the frontloader that he uses every day at work. Lancaster is 90 years old and has been working at the company since it opened in 1949.

ALPENA — L&S Transit Mix Concrete Co. has been in business in Alpena since 1950, and one man has been there through it all.

Jerry Lancaster was just 20 years old when he and his dad, Willis, started the concrete business. Now 90, the son is still working there.

Lancaster is still working because he doesn’t like sitting around the house doing nothing. His wife passed away a few years ago, and, after sitting at home for a week, he knew he needed to get out of the house and do something.

“I’m not a person that can just lay around,” Lancaster said. “I enjoy it and I meet people.”

Lancaster is still the owner of the business, but his sons run the operations and update him on what’s going on.

Since it’s been so warm lately, Lancaster said he usually goes home in the afternoon if the temperature gets above 80 degrees, to get out of the heat. He said he’s not sure how long he’ll work — he thinks for another year or two — but he’s still going every day to be around other people.

“I like being with people,” he said. “I come here and I work.”

Lancaster said he gets along with everyone who comes to the business.

Lancaster said that, after the business opened, it poured the concrete for Ella White Elementary School when the school was built in the 1950s. He said the business expanded from having one truck to two because of that project.

The company has five trucks today. The business uses more types of concrete and gravel then it did when the business started almost 70 years ago.

Lancaster is excited about the future of concrete and believes concrete houses will become more popular.

“We found that we always help people, and that’s the main thing of being in business,” Lancaster said.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.