How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
We moved to Hernando County four years ago. Before that, we lived in Pasco County for 27 years. We are originally from New York (the borough of Queens).
Who are the members of your family?
My wife, Mildred "Milly," and I have been married for 61 years. We have four children: sons Dennis Desmond of Orlando and Robert Desmond of Spring Hill, and daughters Annette Desmond of Spring Hill and Donna DeNatale of New York and Orlando. We lost a son, Daniel Desmond III, 16 years ago.
We also have 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
Tell us about your career.
I retired from the city of New York after 30 years as superintendent for the housing department. We moved into our home in Pasco County on Aug. 11, 1980.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
Softball, and I have been playing softball for a very long time. I started playing with the tavern league in New York on Sundays. (Prior to that, I played fastball in the '40s and '50s on city teams.)
When we moved to Pasco, I joined the Florida Half Century League, and we played a couple of times a week. Now I play on a traveling league that has four age divisions (50s, 60s, 70s and 80s), and of course I'm on the 80s team.
We have about seven tournaments a year. Some are held here, and sometimes we travel to other states like Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona. My wife, Milly, always travels with me. The last tournament was in February in Lakeland, and our team, sponsored by the Center of Sight, won the championship for our age division. All members on our team are in their 80s and live in Florida. We all received a championship ring, which I added to my collection. I have several.
Tell me more about your softball.
In addition to being on the traveling team, I also play in two local leagues: the Anderson Snow Senior Softball League and the West Hernando Athletic Club for Seniors, and both of them play twice a week.
I was asked to play on the traveling team after the team I was on at the time, Kids and Kubs (for folks 75 years and older), played against the traveling team. After the game, they recruited me to join them.
Softball is in my blood — and many members of my family, for that matter. My son Robert plays in the WHACS league and is on the same team as I am (Slice of Life Pizza). He plays shortstop, and I play second baseman. Robert is also the coach of a county team that plays nights.
My two grandsons who live in Florida — Robert Jr. in Hernando County (plays for C's Pub) and Greg Desmond (plays for a different C's Pub team), who lives in Tampa — also play softball. Sometimes Robert Jr.'s team plays against our team. When that happens, he's playing against his dad and grandfather.
Last year, I, my son, my two grandsons and two great-grandsons all played in the county's night league, Hernando County Parks and Recreation Softball League, on the team sponsored by C's Pub. We had four generations on the team. Last year, our team won the winter division for the league.
Do you have any special hobbies?
Yes, softball and resting afterward are my hobbies. It doesn't leave me a lot of time to sit around watching TV or gardening.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
My wife and I like to dine out at local restaurants and visit Pine Island to watch the sunsets.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
Improve our public transportation routes. There are so many people I know who live in developments that are not stops on the bus routes, so they can't utilize it. I'd also like to see more industry move here so we could have more jobs for residents of Hernando County.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I just love my family and I'm so happy that so many of them live nearby. My son and grandsons lived in Hernando before we did. They are the reason we moved here from Pasco. They wanted us closer.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at [email protected] or (352) 848-1438.