Woodworking Shop gives retirement living residents a hobby to enjoy
The pandemic has caused many retirement living facilities to get creative with staying busy within their walls. The St. Martin Village has an unofficial woodworkers club to give residents a fun hobby.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Woodworking has been a safe escape during the pandemic for 89-year-old Pete Geyerman and other residents at the Good Samaritan Society Campus at St. Martin Village in Rapid City.
Pete lives in the independent living apartments and wanted to stay occupied after his move to the Village to keep his mind and body active.
Geyerman, Woodworker Hobbyist, says, “I spent many years shoveling snow and mowing grass and so forth at my home and I thought, well this is great, I won’t have to do any of that. Well, after sitting around watching television and reading books, I thought, well maybe this wasn’t the best move in the world and they opened our hobby shop and I thought I’d go over and see what was going on.”
Pete hadn’t done any woodworking since high school. A resident woodworking expert has taught Pete and many others his skills and and now Pete is going on four years in the hobby shop. He enjoys making items for family as gifts and even helping out around the facility with small projects, and he enjoys his time with his new found friends.
“Good relationship with the guys that come over and work. I’m just one of the guys at the shop,” says Pete.
The hobby shop proves to be a place where residents can keep their brain and hands busy, but also a place to bond with others over a common interest activity.
On campus, there is a lumberyard where residents can pick out their wood. All of the equipment has been donated by residents.
Pete builds mainly bowls and birdhouses and can spend up to 10-11 hours on each piece.
Pete says, “Woodworking is very intensive, you sort of have to do a schedule with margin whatever I do. I enjoy the work the most. It’s just a very nice hobby and we really enjoy our hobby shop.”
Earlier this year, Pete entered his projects into the local county fair and received a best overall award along with four first-class ribbons.
The shop has been open for about four years.
You can find Pete at the campus’ woodshop most days making a variety of projects.
Pete is a Navy veteran of the Korean War and was born and raised in South Dakota. He has been a resident of Rapid City since 1958.