Mike Moskal is a familiar face to many of the staff, residents and patients of Deer Lodge Centre. He worked at Deer Lodge as a gardener supervisor for more than 23 years before retiring in 2012, but even then he just couldn’t stay away. We caught up with him recently to find out what’s keep-ing him busy these days, and why Deer Lodge is still a big part of his life.
Q: What kinds of things are you doing for Deer Lodge?
A: Since my last day of work, my primary affiliation with Deer Lodge Centre has been as an entertainer for the Recreation Department, playing my accordion(s) as either a solo act or as part of the jazz trio, Major Squeeze, replete with guitar and double bass. I have also participated from time to time as a contestant in the annual DLC Foundation Charity Golf Classic and as an entertainer at DLC Foundation’s Bella Notte fundraiser each February. And during last year’s celebration of DLC’s 100th Anniversary, I was invited to create a snow sculpture entitled 100 YEARS, depicting the milestone event on the Centre’s snow-covered front lawn.
Q: Why is it important to you to maintain your connection to Deer Lodge Centre?
A: Primarily because of many amiable relationships with colleagues and co-workers I had developed during my employment at DLC. And it is always person-ally edifying to see the happy smiles on the faces of residents, and to experience their appreciation, while playing my accordion for them.
Q: How is retirement?
A: In a word, busy! My musical and gardening experience (and half-ton truck) seem to keep me in demand among my family and friends. I’m also well into a second decade as the secretary of the Arlington Sports Club, primarily a sport fishing club. I enjoy canoeing, kayaking, cross-country and downhill skiing, and helping out my family whenever I can. I also relish reading and dashing off an intermittent letter to the editorial page of local newspapers, as well as writing the occasional short story for the Winnipeg Free Press annual writing contest. I have about 1,500 books in my home library, and I hope to stay active and healthy so I have time to read them all.