Art of Aging: Retired lawyer follows passion through volunteerism

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Art of Aging: Retired lawyer follows passion through volunteerism - Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at noon on June 14, 2018. (WPVI)

How would you spend your days if earning money was no longer the object? For a retired Philadelphia lawyer, the answer is art and history.

Jim Pagliaro was still working as a litigator when he trained to be a guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He's always loved public speaking and history and volunteering as a tour guide is another way to indulge those passions.

"I loved being a lawyer, but I also knew there was another chapter in my life. I enjoy being a gatekeeper, taking complex facts and making it digestible for people," he said.

When Pagliaro is leading tours at the Art Museum, he's dressed as he did for the courtroom, but he changes his suit for period garb at Pennsbury Manor - the colonial estate of William Penn.

Here he's known as an interpreter, helping visitors understand what life was like in the 17th century and how William Penn's philosophy helped shape the nation.

"I talk about Penn's values and try to communicate that even to the kids that come here," said Pagliaro.

For both volunteer gigs, he learns his subjects inside and out.

"I believe in what some call a lifetime of learning. I take, you know, dozens of hours every year of continuing education, I've gone to Oxford University in England to study art history, I'm going back this summer," he said.

After 40 years working as a lawyer, he's making volunteering a second career.

"Believe it or not, I'm actually studying to be a guide at Stenton Mansion in the city, so I'm hoping to do tours there at some point," said Pagliaro.

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