Keeping Lake Forest seniors out and about
Bud Gottschalk has been a driver for the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center for nearly 14 years. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
AVOCATION: Driver for Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center
WORDS TO LIVE BY: “It may seem like I’m helping them, but they’re helping me, too. We all benefit.”
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:40AM
LAKE FOREST — Bud Gottschalk is in his 14th year of driving area seniors to and from shopping trips, doctor’s appointments and more. A senior himself at 79 years old, Gottschalk is a paid volunteer for the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center located at the Grove Cultural Campus in Dickinson Hall.
Q. What prompted you to take this up?
A. I had retired and was just goofing around, doing odd jobs. A friend of my wife’s recommended it. And my wife was all for it. I’ve always stayed busy, but I think she wanted me to have something to do regularly to get out of her hair.
Q. You were already retired when you started driving. What did you do before?
A. I worked for IBM for 29 years; that was my primary career.
Q. Where do you usually take people?
A. I’ll take them anywhere they want to go, but we often go to area malls like Hawthorn or Gurnee Mills, grocery stores. A lot of these folks would be virtually homebound without this service. Some of them have never driven, not even when they were younger.
Q. What do you drive?
A. A car, if it’s a small group. And then we have a bus that seats many more. They didn’t always have that; they got it when they hired me, because I already had the special license. We got a new bus a year ago. That first one I drove had 125,000 miles on it.
Q. What do you like most about doing this?
A. I enjoy taking care of people and helping them. This is therapeutic for me. It makes me feel great. It may seem like I’m helping them, but they’re helping me, too. We all benefit.