Retired Danville pediatrician finds way to stay busy
Russ Goodwin, left, speaks with Brandon Long about the props for the Danville Pediatrics presentation of "Wild West!" at the Community Arts Center. (February 11, 2013)
“My wife retired. I figured, if she was retired, I should be able to retire, too,” he said with a smile.
However, Goodwin didn’t stay still for long. For starters, he and his wife participate in 5K runs, although Goodwin said he mostly goes “along in sympathy,” walking while his wife runs.
“I try to keep up and keep active,” he said.
He also began working with Habitat for Humanity, which he said keeps him and the others in the group busy on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, when the weather is nicer.
“When I retired, I figured that would be a good way to organize my days,” Goodwin said. “They’re a really good group of guys to do that work.”
He joked that it also offered him an excuse to buy more tools.
In the off-season of Habitat, Goodwin has found another volunteer home in which to hone his carpentry skills and play with tools. He recently began helping with the “Wild West!” presentation at the Community Arts Center.
“I think Russ is a good link to the exhibit because it is sponsored by Danville Pediatrics,” said Brandon Long, programming director at the center.
Long is, coincidentally, a former patient of Goodwin’s.
“It went from a fear of him giving me a shot to now I’m just afraid he’s going to drop a 2-by-4 on me,” Long said, laughing.
“Brandon was one of my star patients,” Goodwin said with a smile. “He even grew up to be an adult, relatively speaking.”
Teasing aside, Goodwin enjoys helping at the center, for many reasons, one of which is that it keeps him in practice for Habitat.
As for how he got involved in the project at the Community Arts Center, Goodwin jokingly blamed his wife, who acts as a guide for the center’s presentations.
“That’s the usual deal,” he said with a smile, later explaining that his wife, Margo, also does a lot of volunteer work.
He credits her with their move to Danville from Louisville about 35 years ago.
“She thought this would be a good place to raise kids,” Goodwin said.
Now a father of four adult children and a grandfather of 10, with two children and five grand- children who live in the Danville area, he said, “I think she was right.”
Goodwin explained that his grandkids enjoy coming to the exhibits, too.
Long, Mariel Smith, and others working and volunteering there are a nice, fun group of people to work with, he said.
“This place is amazing with the volunteers they get,” Goodwin said. “It seems like the most fun things to do and the most rewarding things are the ones where you’re doing something for somebody else.”
Goodwin is impressed with the volunteers who simply walk in off the street to help, including many Centre College students. He explained there are many students who volunteered with Habitat, too.
“It’s kind of neat to see the young people volunteer. I don’t think I did that when I was in college,” he said.
The work proves to be challenging, too, as Goodwin said it “keeps your mind trying to think up something to do.”
“It’s kind of fun to do all of Brandon’s ideas,” Goodwin said. “He’s the brains of the outfit, just tells me what to do.”
Goodwin is referred to as part of the “special operations” crew, and the banter continued to fly as he finished building an awning on the front of the jail setting before moving to the post office at the exhibit.
Mostly, Goodwin said, he participates at the center because it is fun.
“I enjoy it, and it keeps me busy. You’ve got to do something with your spare time.”