A love of stones
At the age of 84, most people are long into their well-deserved retirement. Not a topic for Alois Jung, the passionate road builder and authorized expert loves his profession far too much for that.
Meanwhile, Alois is in his 70th year of work! He inherited his love of stones and the passion for his profession from his grandfather. He was also a road builder and often took the then ten-year-old with him to the construction sites. "Grandpa taught me everything, including his sense of humour. He had a big influence on me," says Alois Jung. In 1954, he then began his apprenticeship and was already awarded the title of master craftsman at the age of only 24. He was the youngest master road builder in Hesse, and immediately set up his own business for inner-city road construction and processing natural stone.
Alois Jung, aged 84
At the top right of the picture you can see him in duplicate. For his 60th birthday, a friend gave him this special Alois Jung sculpture as a present - and he is obviously happy to recognise himself. He got to know the FAHL company in the hospital in the person of our sales representative Waldemar Kelm, that was 7 years ago. Mr Jung uses a BLOM SINGER® DUAL VALVE™ voice prosthesis, the LARYNGOTEC® PRO silicone cannula and different Laryvox HMEs. What he appreciates about Andreas Fahl Medizintechnik-Vertrieb GmbH and his care provider is the reliable and punctual supply as well as the friendliness.
"Things couldn't be better,"
he says enthusiastically.
Mr Jung proudly shows us the photo albums from the 60s, when he and his colleagues paved Limburg's city centre, including the city coats of arms, all made of natural stone. However, he got his first big commission from the municipal utility company Stadtwerke Höchst (Frankfurt). With this contract in his pocket, Alois ran to the local savings bank to take out a loan. "At the time, they simply granted me DM 20,000 just like that. That wouldn't be quite so easy these days!" he laughs. Since 1995, Mr. Jung has also been active as an authorised expert for road construction, a job he still pursues today.
Then in 2016, everything changed: first it was "only" a very dry cough, then a persistently rough throat and finally the diagnosis cancer of the larynx. Surgery followed six months later, which fortunately went without complications. For Alois Jung, already 76 years old at the time, the only question that really mattered to him was when he could go back to work. He agreed to a stay in rehab, but 2 days later his heart was all about stones again.
A brief shake and time to move on
We were curious to know if the dust did not cause him any problems at work. And were told that the processing of natural stone does not produce any dust, because it is split by hand. And the customers had no problems with his new voice either. It is strong and easy to understand. On reflection, he says that the diagnosis and the aftermath hardly mattered to him. A brief shake and life goes on. He found the hearing loss he suffered last year much worse. That took him a lot longer to come to terms with. But feeling sorry for himself is not his thing. "Think positive and carry on" is his motto.
However, he stopped with road construction work in 2018, at the age of 78, mind you. This had nothing to do with his laryngectomy either. He continues to work as a consultant, still clocking up 10-15 hours a week. Meanwhile, he is the oldest still active master road builder in Hesse. Now we want to get to the bottom of things: what is it about his job that fascinates him so much that he doesn't want to stop? Again this mischievous grin and he says: "How can I best put it? I'm in love with stones!" Stones are so versatile, he enthuses.
In the past, there were only a few varieties to choose from, but nowadays, thanks to globalisation, you can get stones from all over the world. When Mr Jung sees a stone, he immediately thinks about what he could do with it. Which shape would be fitting, etc., etc.
At the end, we wanted to know what makes a good road builder. "A good eye, creativity, and a love of stone" is the answer. In other words, Alois Jung was predestined for this profession from an early age.
Alois Jung at the creation of Limburg's famous Europe Square