Ralph Roos, a new resident, dropped by the LCG Shop to make some shelves and chat. He is 96, was born in Erie, Illinois, apprenticed as a carpenter at 19, and built homes in the Chicago area. Before WWII, a lot of sawing, planing, boring, chiseling, etc., was done using hand tools, especially in hanging doors, at which he became an expert.
At 28 he enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the crew of LST10 (The tenth of the more than 1,000 Landing Ship Tanks produced in WWII). The LST10 had just been converted into a repair ship and renamed the ARL#1. Aboard was a complete wood shop and a metal shop below decks. Landing Craft and Infantry Barges damaged in the invasion of Africa and later Italy, were brought for repairs to his ship stationed in the Mediterranean. After VE day, his ship was sent to the South Pacific to repair ships and barges damaged on Okinawa and other islands.
After the Philippines were secured, repair crews helped prepare ships for the possible invasion of Japan. Thankfully the war ended and he returned home.
In 1947 he and his wife moved to La Habra, California where he acquired licenses as a General Contractor. He designed and built beautiful homes in the Whittier area, He started an insurance business but returned to General Contracting after four years and again designed and built homes and worked with Real Estate brokers remodeling their listed homes, including some in the Emerald Bay area. His skills and work ethic were such that contractors kept him very busy even in his 80s. He retired in 2002.
He enjoys life at La Costa Glen, especially living in his apartment filled with beautiful woodwork he has built over the years.