Instead of using retirement to rest, one Midlands man is using a hobby to help serve those in need.
Martin Arant has been living in Lexington for most of his life and just recently retired from the workforce.
However, he’s been working in his woodshed to make walking sticks for the last twenty years.
“It’s a hobby. It keeps me out of the bars and the joints really," says Arant. "It keeps me home so my wife knows where I’m at.”
The handyman heads out to the woods or walks around his yard to find limbs to use for his projects.
“Once I dug it up, I thought it was a piece of junk. But, then I could see something there. It turned out to be a pretty stick and it’s pretty good lightweight on it,” explains Arant.
He first started making the sticks while volunteering at the Lexington Medical Center. He’s since made them for people at his church and anyone else who has request them.
“Just to help somebody is doing something. It’s like volunteering at the hospital," says Arant. "I volunteer at the hospital because I believe in the hospital and I feel like it’s something I need to do. I feel good about it.”
Each stick can take from hours to days to finish but the final product is worth all the hard work for Arant.
“I call it a poor man’s hobby and it is. The sticks cost me nothing. The only thing that costs me is my materials, my files and sandpaper, and my knives. It’s a poor man’s hobby and the end satisfaction is great,” explains Arant.
The wooden stick maker says he’s built over 150 walking canes and hiking sticks since he started doing it twenty years ago.