David 'Shorty' Lett is a rarity in a modern world where people change careers every couple of years.
David, 85, has been a painter for 70 years and even though he claims he is 'retired' he is still, well, painting.
"I am working at the Coffin Club. I know the man who started the club and he asked me if I was keen," David said.
"I was very keen because I could do carpentry as well. Now I am the head painter and I am in the committee and everything."
• New studio to offer 'affordable art'
• 'An insult': Line painting on Hawke's Bay highway worse than what 'children' could have done
• Hawke's Bay artist paints Elton John ahead of Napier concert
• Artist looking forward to public's reaction at his latest exhibition
David, who spent most of his working life painting buildings, got into it through a painting apprenticeship with his father Gordon Lett, a painter as well, back in 1949.
David hated school, and wanted to be a carpenter, but that would've meant staying in school.
"I was wagging school and I left at 14. I didn't have a choice, I had to join my father and paint."
Gordon Lett had already stamped his mark on many of Napier's post-quake buildings, having moved up from Wellington in 1931.
David's mother, who Gordon met on Hospital Hill, was 'quite' happy her son had left school.
"My mum had seven kids, and not much money. I got paid 1 pound 10 shillings a week.
"I paid my mum 1 pound in board. I still had enough money to go to the pictures and get icecream on a Friday and some left over."
In 1964, David started off on his own and despite never advertising, he had a booming business.
"I have been here for years and I never once advertised. It got work through word-of-mouth.
"I used to love doing new work. Back then we had to load it out in drums, we used to tint the paint, thin it, mix it all. There was lead in everything, and I don't remember wearing masks."
Some of the recognisable names he worked for include John Buck.
Buck House, a private family home on the Te Mata Estate vineyard in Hawke's Bay, was designed by Ian Athfield in 1980.
It was then bought by wine judges John Buck and Michael Morris, who nursed the old vines back to good health and planted new ones.
David also painted the Royston Hospital, back when it was brand new.
"I remember that hundreds of rolls of wallpaper went up there."
The house of the owner of Grieve Diamond Jeweller's was the first one he ever worked on, he said.
"I was given the paint and asked to go paint. I had to also paint the outside of the chook house and the chooks were all clucking at me."
For David, the instant impact of painting was something he always liked.
"I used to look at houses and say 'oh god what a thing'.
"But then I would paint it and I could see the improvement straight away. The whole thing with painting is preparation, it needs to stand the test of time."
Over the years David's painting left its mark on his three children and they all followed in his footsteps.
"They are all doing all right, I think they have done well."
And while his shoulders are a bit sore, his hands are still 'good as gold'.
"My fingers are not bent or anything. I don't have arthritis," David said.
"I enjoy painting, it's a trade you get a lot out of."