EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - Larry Strang and his trusty John Deere riding lawnmower came to the rescue of some Dover Avenue neighbors after Sunday's coastal snowstorm.
Strang, 73, put a snow blower on the front of his small green tractor to dig out the driveways and mailboxes at 16 homes in his neighborhood Monday and Tuesday.
Neighbors said Strang is their snow angel when it comes to wintertime mobility. He plows after every storm, they said.
"He does my house, Jean's, John's, James', Michelle's, Scott and Brenda's. He's been doing it for so long, I almost take him for granted," neighbor Michael Morro said. "He just does it and doesn't ask anything in return. It saved us a couple hours of digging easy."
Neighbor James Cannone said his street saw 18 to 20 inches of snow from Sunday's storm. The snow drifted higher in many places.
Seeing Strang trundle down the street on his John Deere is always a welcome sight, Cannone said.
"I'm very grateful for it. It saved us hours of shoveling," Cannone said.
Strang lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident nearly 40 years ago. But the handicap does not keep him from his routine acts of winter kindness, he said, because the pedals are on the right side.
"It gives me something to do. I enjoy helping people out," he said.
Strang, a retired heavy-equipment operator, was at it for seven hours Monday until he sheared a pin in his new snow blower. He spent the evening in his workshop replacing the part and was back out in the cold for five more hours Tuesday morning.
Strang said some neighbors repay the kindness with home-baked cookies, candy or the occasional gift card.
"Everyone in the neighborhood appreciates him," Cannone said.
Well, maybe not everyone.
On a street as long as Dover Avenue, even good Samaritan neighborliness has its limits. And in Tuesday's cold, Strang called it quits midway down the road.
Neighbor Myron Prutzman, who lives on the opposite side of Dover Avenue, said he did not benefit from Strang's generosity Tuesday. Instead, Prutzman, along with his wife and daughter, had to spend several hours digging out by hand.
"He seems like a nice guy. What he did was nice. It would have been nicer if he had done mine," Prutzman said.
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