Man stays busy with school job

Jim Blaylock/Staff
Basil Vintinner

Martinez resident Basil Vintinner has an 18-foot camper sitting in his yard, but he has not used it in a year.


He has not had the time.

The 84-year-old retired Teamster has been a full-time employee of the Columbia County school system since 1990. He started out as a bus driver, but he has worked at the school system's warehouse since 1996.

"It's a choice for one thing. I chose to keep on going. You sit down, and the first thing you know, you get wider and a little bit heavier," he said.

But the only bulk Mr. Vintinner needs to worry about is the weight of the supplies he lifts and carries as part of his warehouse duties.

Mr. Vintinner makes deliveries, checks in supplies, barcodes books, transfers materials including classroom furniture and reams of paper from one school to another and delivers food orders to the cafeterias.

John Murrell, the warehouse manager, said Mr. Vintinner follows a "work smarter, not harder" doctrine, especially when it comes to heavy lifting.

"He knows how to use the old levers and tools rather than the back and the legs," Mr. Murrell said.

He said there is nothing that Mr. Vintinner won't do. He said he will take on any task from cleaning cobwebs from the light fixtures to mopping the floor.

"He is a person that is dependable, reliable, honest," Mr. Murrell said. "He takes things upon himself when he's finished everything else."

Other school system employees also marvel at Mr. Vintinner's work ethic.

"I think he's just such an inspiration to all of us," said Mike Lindsey, the school system's director of middle school and gifted student learning. "He's just as spry as he can be,"

Mr. Vintinner also was a member of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Citizens Auxiliary Unit and the county's Community Emergency Response Team for more than two years. But he said he gave up these volunteer posts about a year ago.

"I wasn't getting enough work done at home," he said.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or