John Schnabel has the heart of a true gold miner.
It is exhausting, seeing Parker work, work, work and work some more on ground that appears to simply have been mined dry of gold. And, there is no doubt that he feels an amazing amount of pressure, particularly for a 17-year-old, to finally turn a profit. But, watching last night’s Gold Rush, if it had not been obvious before, it became perfectly clear last night: Grandpa John Schnabel gets up every morning with that same sparkle for gold mining he likely had when he began more than 25 years ago.
And, it is obvious that it is not all about the profit.
At 92, Grandpa John has more spunk and fire than a lot of people half his age. He does not come across as exhausted, worn-out, or beat down by the world. He has a glint in his eye and a note in his laugh that makes it obvious: The man loves life, and has no intention of giving up on it until the absolute end.
Schnabel Family Joy for Living
All of the Schnabels seem to have that zest-for-life quality to their personalities. Parker’s Dad, Roger, for example: No doubt that he can serious it up when it is time to talk business—the infamous bridge incident when he brokered a truce between Parker and Fred was a good example of that (Okay, so, perhaps that did not go exactly as Fred wanted it to go, but, hey, what does?)—but he also always seems to see things from a glass-half-full perspective, and has fun in the process. And, although Parker’s older brother, Payson, has not had a lot of camera time, he does radiate that same Schnabel goodwill, like when he took the time to help his little brother out recently, blasting a stubborn rock blocking the way to Smith Creek (or, if you prefer, Crick). And, as many times as Roger and Payson have likely blasted away rocks in their bridge-building endeavors, they still got that same rush, complete with howls of laughter, when the blast ignited and brought the wall tumbling down.
They just seem to find the joy.
Even Parker’s mom, always the voice of reason when it comes to her son’s welfare, tempers her suggestions and sometimes critical observations with love and positivity. At times, she has to bring down the big hammer—Parker is a teen, after all, and can get mouthy, like all teenagers seem to do sometime in their teendom. But, there is never any doubt that Nancy Schnabel loves her son, or that she wants him to succeed. And, like her husband, sons and father-in-law, she seems to find the joy around her instead of focusing on the negative.
Grandpa John Bounces Right Back
In last night’s episode, Grandpa John underwent an operation—risky, if for no other reason than he is 92-years-old. But, in true Schnabel fashion, the man just seemed to bounce right up from the procedure, laughing and loving his family, particularly Parker, just days later and, as Nancy said after talking to him on the phone, “sounds like he never missed a beat.”
John Schnabel Still Has Dream in His Heart
Honestly, if that man took up jogging now, it wouldn’t be surprising. But, more than that, news that Parker has a new dig on Emerson Trench perked him right up, even though, momentarily, the news that Smith Creek was a wash did take away his trademark sparkle. Hey, everybody has to have a dream, right? Even when he is 92.
Looks like Emerson Trench will be Grandpa John’s new dream for the Big Nugget Mine and for grandson Parker. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed with a clap, his spark returning immediately after Parker told him about the plans for Emerson Trench, following the bad news about Smith Creek. "Why didn't you tell me that in the first place instead of telling me all of these horrible death stories about the end of the world?" he laughed. The special bond between grandfather and grandson has never been more apparent throughout the airing of Gold Rush than it was during that scene.
Whether or not they ever hit the mother lode, the Schnabels really do appear to be living the true American Dream.
Gold Rush airs on the Discovery Channel on Friday nights at 9/8c.
Image: Discovery Channel
Video: Discovery Channel/Gold Rush