When Glenn Laedtke took a woodcarving class when he was still an IBM employee in Rochester, he couldn’t possibly have known how it would come to shape his retirement years. Today, his fellow residents at Friendship Village of Bloomington are treated each season to his wonderful, handmade display of wooden Santa Claus figures, many depicting different traditions of Old Saint Nick from around the world.
“I opened a hobby business in my early retirement years; eventually, my focus turned to just carving Santa Clauses,” Glenn says. “I even had the opportunity to do some shows and galleries here in Minnesota and in Wisconsin. It’s been a nice chapter in my life.”
There’s plenty of interest in woodworking and woodcarving at Friendship Village, which offers residents a woodshop with all the tools of the trade they need to dabble in numerous projects.
In fact, Glenn’s Santa reputation earned him some national prominence thanks to his appearances at various shows, and he still markets them today online.
“Santa Claus brings a lot of happiness to people all across the world,” he says. “I’m really proud to know that my hobby contributes in some small way to the feelings of joy people have around the holidays.”