Dave Meehan's apartment on May Lane is a simple one-bedroom affair walk into the living room, pass through the kitchen and eating area and end at the back in a bedroom.
But it isn't the economical layout you notice.
It is the large entertainment center that takes up one side of the living room with the large TV and speakers up on top.
And the humming computer sitting behind the entertainment center.
And then in the bedroom there's another television sitting beside a wheeled dolly sharing the crowded floor space. Up on top of a wall of bedroom shelves is a gleaming electric guitar, with the amp on a lower shelf.
This is not the typical home of a single man living with disabilities on a minimal income.
But it is the home of a man who has been a natural electronic fix-it man since age 9. He remembers finding a television and a radio in the dump near Canyon City, Colo., tearing them apart and then putting them together again in working order.
He's been doing that ever since.
Meehan, almost 53, keeps going despite diabetes, narcolepsy, epilepsy, a knee replacement limiting some movement, and depression all kept in some level of control by the 19 pills a day he takes, and the services of two part-time caretakers who visit regularly.
"I like my electronics," Meehan says with a small shake of his head. Fixing things, he adds, keeps him focused and thinking about the task at hand and about other
When he's feeling good, "I walk along the roads, looking for things." He likes to go to the Thursday night auctions in Bearco Loop.
The speakers, he says, he found not working, of course for just $5.
He moves quickly into the story of one of the 317 televisions he's transformed from broken pieces of trash to working home fixtures.
He learned about an area woman with four children whose television was broken. She had no money to have the set fixed, or to replace it.
Meehan just happened to be repairing a set when he heard her story.
It didn't take long to get her not just one working television, but two.
With a rare smile, Meehan says he'll never forget the look on the woman's face, or those of her children. "She had a smile ear-to-ear."
And there's another benefit for Meehan himself as he deals with his own health concerns.
What he saw on that woman's face, he admits, "kept me going for two days."
There's a lot behind this quiet man.
While limited now, Meehan served in the military and was stationed overseas during the Vietnam war. His disabilities are not military-related, though, so he doesn't get any benefits from the service, he says.
For a while, he worked in security in Hollywood, Calif.
When he started collecting knives a while back, friends there sent him a knife used by Sylvester Stallone in the movie "Cobra," and another used in the first "Crocodile Dundee" movie.
But in about 1982 or 1983, Dave Meehan came back to Union County and moved in with his father, Clyde Meehan, one of his few relatives.
He still has a half-brother in Texas, but the pictures decorating his apartment are of his caretakers' children. What gets him up each day is making things work, his way of helping others.
He remembers people bringing non-working televisions and other appliances to the Elgin Food Bank, knowing that Clyde would bring them home to Dave for fixing.
And Dave keeps track. Sorta.
Of the 317 television sets he's worked on, all but seven were returned to working order. The other seven became sources of parts.
Computers and guitars he keeps track of, but not the hundreds of radios that have passed through his hands.
Meehan has no professional training in repairing electronics, and does it all by eye using a multi-purpose pocket tool with fold-out tool heads.
The hardest ones, he says, are what he calls "the Dick Tracy TV watches."
Meehan works more or less "on-call," he says, out of his apartment. People hear of him and drop off broken televisions or a computer.
He fixes what's broken, more by instinct and experimentation than by training, then gives away the working appliance to someone in need who finds the way to his door.
Low-income people often benefit from his repairs, along with older area residents and sometimes teenagers with no chance of getting that television or car stereo system.
Meehan's work is all a matter of finding or making contact with the people he needs. Each Saturday, Meehan lists the things he could use in The Observer's Wish List topping it right now are volunteers who can deliver items to new homes and parts for him to make the needed repairs.
And there's never any money exchanged, unless it is a donation.
"It's my hobby and I get seniors what they need," he explains. "There's a lot of things people throw away, and I can fix them."