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Herald Neighbors

‘He discovered his artistic side at 66’

Arts Council at Freeport Art Alcove's new exhibit


Updated Jan. 18 at 2:09

Last Tuesday would have been 62 years of marriage. Unfortunately, David Goodman, from Merrick, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD, complications on Sept. 12, 2015.

“I didn’t want him to go,” Blanche, 90, his wife, said. “I wanted him to say, but every breath was a fight.”

Though it was an emotional day, Blanche spent the morning at the Freeport Recreation Center Senior Room hanging out with buddies and playing poker.

The couple met on a blind date around 1954 when they were in their early 20s in Brooklyn. After a year and half of courtship, they married on Jan. 15, 1956. The couple eventually moved out of Brooklyn and settled in South Merrick where they raised their two sons — Steven and Chuck and where she still lives.

The best way to commemorate David, according to Blanche, was through the latest Arts Council at Freeport exhibits of his wooden sculptures in the Art Alcove in the lobby of the Freeport Recreation Center. The exhibit features never before seen wooden sculptures David made after he retired at age 66.

“When he retired,” Blanche said with a smirk. “I told him he would have to find something to do. I didn’t want him becoming a couch potato.”

Determined to occupy his time, David, according to Blanche, enrolled at Hofstra University, at age 66, to work on his Bachelor’s degree.

“He came home and told me he had 16 hours of homework,” Blanche said with a laugh. “And soon realized school wasn’t going to be for him.”

Skipping the school route, David started exploring other things to do. After renovating their home, David joined a woodwork group in Baldwin in the early 1990s. The group, though they specialized in woodwork, also dabbled in clay and painting.

“He found a whole group of new friends,” Blanche said.

Aside from learning how to carve wood into sculptures and manipulating clay also spent a bulk of his time fishing with the Atlantis Anglers Fishing Club. If he wasn’t fishing he was busily working on his woodcarvings.

“He discovered his artistic side at 66,” Blanche said. “He became very adept to [becoming] a sculpturer.”

Blanche admits she was amazed by her husband’s art pieces that included polar bears, fish, giraffes and abstract designs.

“He made these with solid pieces of wood,” Blanche said. “He loved what he was doing. This is fantastic. I always knew he was talented.”

Pausing to admire the sculptures, Freeporter, Joanne Reidman share she was impressed by the intricate details on each piece. “I can’t do any of this stuff, she said. “To see this done with wood is impressive.”

This week, the Herald ran the incorrect information in the printed version of this story. The artist's name is David Goodman.