Goodwin House resident breaks out his tuba, plays from his balcony


Bradley says the senior living facility is doing "a really good job" of keeping residents safe. Meantime, he's trying to keep his friends entertained.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — Once a week, Goodwin House resident Jim Bradley breaks out his tuba to play for his neighbors from his balcony. 

The senior living facility isn’t allowing visitors right now. “Goodwin House has a lot of activities for the residents here, but because of the virus a number of those activities and the social distancing and constraints they’ve had to cancel those or at best put them on the closed circuit TV,” Bradley said. He says Goodwin House is doing “a really good job” of keeping residents safe. Meantime, he’s trying to keep his friends entertained.

“I typically start with ‘Marine Corps Hymn’ because there’s a number of Marine Corps guys here and I end with the Navy ‘Anchors Aweigh,’ in part because I was in the Navy,” said Bradley.

A tuba player since grade school, Bradley isn’t a stranger to performing. “We have a place in Maine and they typically would have a Fourth of July parade and one of the parades I played the tuba from the back of a Ford pickup truck.”

Now, he’s got friends from church cheering him on from their balcony. “They just, by chance, ended up getting the apartment below us here. So they’ve been a good cheering section.”

He’s also got his wife Judy, who he calls “The Manager.” She turns the pages for him on windy days. “It’s an acquired skill,” Judy said. “I have to remember where to put my hand. That’s all. And I’m doing it upside down, but that’s OK.”

Goodwin House serves approximately 2,000 older adults across Northern Virginia. It houses 450 residents in Alexandria and 475 residents at its Bailey’s Crossroads location.


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