Which is your favorite machine: the track hoe or the wrecking ball?
Lorenz: When I was a youngster, the wrecking ball was probably one of the most fun things I’d ever done in my life. When you’re wrecking with a ball, the building talks to you. When you hit it, it goes “Oh Oooh, God, that hurt.” And you know, when things start falling, that’s called hard rain. Then all of a sudden, you weaken the building in a certain spot and when you hit it just right, and a whole section of the building tumbles down, it’s just such a neat feeling.
Can you tell us about your Bonsai collection?
Lorenz: In Chicago, in the ’70s, a lady I was working for, her husband suddenly died. Well, he had about eight to ten Bonsai trees and whenever we were out working, I’d ask him about them. So his wife asked if I was interested in having his trees. From there, I started trying to keep these trees together. I read a lot of books and it’s just become an obsession. And I’ve had ‘em for 35 years. One is called Grandpa, a 78-year-old Juniper Pine.
I also have an American Elm that’s about 35 years old and only about two feet tall. I have two Cypress Bonsai, which are about 40 years old and only three feet tall. Plus, I have a lot of Junipers and Elmwood trees, Chinese Elms, Azaleas and bamboo.
What was it like working with Richard?
Lorenz: I enjoyed him from the very beginning. He has this enthusiasm about him and he knows what he’s doing out there in front of a camera. Off camera, we were always goofing with each other, pulling little tricks on each other and things like that. We were like “Mutt and Jeff” together. He was very interested in all of the different things I do for a living and it was a really positive experience.