By the time that David Broida turned 62, he'd been director of the Upper Merion Parks and Recreation Department for 32 years. He was ready to move on. "I wanted to explore new things," he says, and "the incentive of Social Security helped on the money side." Not that he hasn't been exploring things his whole life. Broida created and ran the Upper Merion Music Festival for 23 years, raised thousands of dollar for AIDS research, volunteers at homeless shelters, and serves on the board of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis in Philadelphia, which focuses on under-resourced families http://www.ashetennis.org/. And I know I've left out a lot, including that he’s a musician who regularly jams with friends.
David and I rode our bikes through West Philadelphia the other day – a winding route that took us past abandoned tennis courts, cracked with weeds. "For $100,000 all these courts could be fixed," said Broida, who has collected coats from the lost-and-founds of suburban schools and donated them to kids in the city. Later on, we rode through the University of Pennsylvania’s $46.5 million dollar new PennPark, where the tennis courts, with bleachers, could host a mini-Wimbledon.
|New Courts At PennPark|
|Weedy Courts, 52nd and Wyalusing|
He stepped into his “retirement” fairly typically:
“For the first two months, I just cleaned up the house a little. I really didn't do anything. I just read. .. rode my bike, played tennis. I just played.”
Then, something happened that lit his fire. As a former administrator, responsible for budgets and the like, he didn’t want to do that again. But when the Shipley School suddenly had an opening for a tennis instructor, he signed on.
“I was lucky” he explains. That led to a new career teaching tennis in public and private programs, still leaving him time for his myriad other interests, including launching the Bryn Mawr Twilight concerts, which run each weekend in summer.
“My advice for myself was just to follow my interests. … What's really nice is to do something completely different from what you've been doing.”
Send me your story, or suggestions of folks to interview at email@example.com