Seniority/University professor reflects on life
Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of chats with local seniors about their lives, youthful aspirations, sources of pride and regret, plus a bit of wisdom to share with younger folks.
Q: Do you live in Fairfield?
A: Yes -- 50 years.
Q: Are you married?
A: Yes -- to Kathleen for 58 years.
A: Yes -- seven.
A: Eleven. One great-grandchild who will be three in December.
Q: Are you retired?
A: Yes -- from Fairfield University, where I was a professor of biology for 35 years. Now emeritus professor of biology.
Q: What did you do when you worked full-time?
A: Taught biology. Now teaching field biology and computers at the Fairfield Senior Center. Have compiled a Fairfield Conservation Commission Guide to Fairfield's Walking and Hiking Trails. Am now working on a wheelchair trail through Fairfield's open spaces. Expect that project to take two years to complete.
Q: What did you want to do when you grew up?
A: I grew up on a dairy farm in Putnam, Conn. I expected to work in animal husbandry.
Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your youth?
A: Earning an undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut.
Q: Where did you serve with the U.S. Army during World War II, and what was your rank?
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
A: Fairfield politics. I served 13 years on the Conservation Commission and on the Representative Town Meeting for six years, the last two as RTM moderator.
Q: What music do you listen to, and what is your favorite piece?
A: Mostly classical.
Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: Movies are something I don't have time for.
Q: Do you have a favorite actor or actress?
A: John Wayne.
Q: What TV show do you watch regularly?
A: None. PBS on occasion.
Q: Who was the best President of the United States and why?
A: President Dwight Eisenhower, because he gave us the interstate highway system.
Q: If you could tell the President of the United States one thing, what would it be?
A: Nothing. I am too busy at the local level to worry about the national.
Q: What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: None. I'm pretty calm.
Q: Do you have any regrets in life?
A: No. I have had a very good life.
Q: What achievements of yours are you most proud?
A: My family. All have done well. The youngest is 50, and the oldest, 57.
Q: What, if anything, are you greatly concerned about?
A: Town politics. After I left the RTM, I was appointed to the committee that advises the town on its Plan of Conservation and Development.
Q: Best piece of advice for the younger generation?
A: Success is measured more by what you give than by what you receive.
Q: What brings you your greatest joy?
A: My family -- wonderful wife Kathleen, seven children, 11 grandkids and one great grandchild.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: Retirement, when I have the time.
Q: Is there something that you would like to add?
A: Yes -- that I am the head of the Fairfield County chapter of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice.
Q: Now what is that?
A: An organization founded for laymen by Pope John Paul II to spread word of Roman Catholic social teaching. We meet at the Vatican once a year and work on strategies to get employers to treat their workers better. In the beginning, we worked under Pope John Paul II. Now we are guided by Pope Benedict XVI.