Oakdale resident Vernon Radke says his job at Lookout Ridge was to “keep things going.”
That typically meant keeping an eye out for kids, interacting with parents, running the computer… or enforcing the rules: “Shoes off, socks on, basically.”
Radke, 85, retired Thursday, Sept. 26, having worked at the indoor playground since Woodbury's Central Park facility opened.
He started at Lookout Ridge after his wife died.
“I couldn’t sit at home and pout by myself,” Radke told Patch on Wednesday.
His favorite part of the job is simply seeing children enjoy themselves at the playground, which is frequented by thousands of youngsters each year.
“And I’m surprised there are so many twins,” Radke said with a laugh.
He usually worked Tuesday through Thursday at Lookout Ridge, and older children now recognize him from when they visited the playground years ago.
This week marked the “countdown,” Radke said, and Thursday was “blast off.”
He said he has enjoyed his time working at Lookout Ridge.
“After 85 years, I better quit before I make a mistake,” Radke said.