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Hernando neighbors | Linda Swafford, 60

Hernando County resident gives Lindas a good name

Linda Swafford is co-planner for this summer’s L.I.N.D.A. convention, a national gathering for anyone named Linda.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Linda Swafford is co-planner for this summer’s L.I.N.D.A. convention, a national gathering for anyone named Linda.

How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?

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We moved to Hernando County in 1999 — first to Weeki Wachee, then in 2000 we bought a house in Spring Hill. I was born and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. I met my husband when I was a junior in high school and he was attending Muscatine Community College.

Who are the members of your family?

Larry, my husband of almost 43 years, and I have two children: son Douglas and daughter Dondi.

Douglas and his wife, Aimee, and their two boys, Dustin and Kieran, live in Fort Madison, Iowa. Dondi Cappuccilli and her husband, Joe, and their children, Crista and Vincent, live in Lecanto. We also have two dogs, Rocky and Barney.

Tell us about your career.

I was lucky enough to be a full-time mom until both kids were in school. Then I worked for a bank until we moved from Fort Madison to Davenport, Iowa. I was ready for a new challenge, so I took a job in the business office of a large medical laboratory formed by more than 75 physicians in the Quad Cities area.

Since coming to Florida, I have worked for Brooksville Regional and Spring Hill Regional hospitals in their business office, and also for United Health Care Group in Oldsmar, until our department was moved to another state.

I also had a small craft and balloon business in Iowa. I did decorating and planning for parties and weddings. Since being here, I have also worked at a Spring Hill florist part time for a few years. I currently am enjoying spending time with my grandkids and husband.

What kinds of activities are you involved in now?

Currently, I am serving as co-planner for this year's L.I.N.D.A. (or Lindas Involved in Network Development Association) convention that we are holding in Florida this summer.

It will be the first time the convention has been held in Florida. I'm proud of that. I've been trying to get the convention down here since we moved to Florida. I was the planner in 1997 for our 10th convention. This year's committee members come from the St. Petersburg, Tampa, Largo and Palm Harbor areas. We'd love to get more Florida members to join, especially from Hernando County.

Tell me more about that.

L.I.N.D.A. began with a dream of two friends who met and began talking about all the Lindas they had met over the years, and thought, wouldn't it be fun to get them all together? I also have to say that you don't have to spell your name Linda; it can also be Lynda or any other way as long as it's pronounced Linda.

Linda Pasvogel and Linda Eaton dreamed about getting all the Lindas they could into one place just once to see how many would come. With the help and encouragement of family and friends and the media, they planned to fill a room with Lindas for one night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1987. As it turned out, 160 of us showed up, not having a clue as to why we were there. We just knew our names were Linda, we were proud of it, and we were invited to this gathering.

We soon became a nonprofit corporation with a board of directors overseeing our activities. Our office is located in Lyndon, Ill. We still meet once a year for a convention.

The 2009 convention will be held July 24-26 in Indian Rocks Beach at the Holiday Inn. Members of L.I.N.D.A. do charitable projects, too. We also have an annual Linda Scholarship available for any Linda member wanting to further her secondary education.

To learn more, visit www. lindaclub.org or write: LINDA, P.O. Box 7, Lyndon, IL 61261.

Do you have any special hobbies?

I like various country crafts. I still do some sewing. Last year, I made six ballet dresses for my granddaughter and five of her friends, for their recital. I love doing special projects with the grandkids.

What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?

We love visiting all the parks. I also love to go to the craft shows and shop with friends. Larry and I like visiting Pine Island; it was the first beach we ever went to here, so it is very special to us.

We also like to try different restaurants in our area. And whenever friends visit from Iowa, we must go over to Rogers' Christmas House. We are both big Christmas collectors. Once upon a time, I use to have a Christmas tree in every room. I no longer have room and have trimmed down my collection.

What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?

Like everywhere else, more affordable housing, lower property insurance and better-paying employment. I'd like to see more affordable activities or places for kids and teens to go, and for families to take them.

Hernando is a great place to be; it is a blending of several cultures. We should learn from each other to better ourselves.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

I sometimes have dreams that come true. It has happened on and off all my life.

My most memorable one was the night before a Neil Diamond concert. I dreamed we got front-row seats. Our tickets were for the nosebleed section. We arrived early with our friends, when one of Neil's bodyguards came up to us and asked if we would do Mr. Diamond a favor.

All we had to do was trade our seats for front-row seats and promise to be happy, applaud and stay away from the stage. It was the greatest concert ever!

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 jhayes@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1438.

Hernando County resident gives Lindas a good name 06/07/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 7, 2009 5:16pm]

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