How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
I moved to Regency Oaks in Spring Hill in October 1992. Previously, I lived in England.
Who are the members of your family?
I am a widow, and the rest of my family still lives in England. I have two sons, two grandsons, as well as a brother and a sister. I also have four wonderful stepchildren and their children.
Tell us about your career.
I was a housewife and stay-at-home mom until my mid 30s, when I began working for an American company in Windsor, UK, about 10 miles from my home. When I left, I was facilities manager and traveled all over Europe (Paris, Rotterdam, Dusseldorf, Milan, Vienna and Barcelona), setting up and renovating sales offices for the company, in addition to being responsible for the maintenance and running of the UK office building.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
I enjoy playing bridge, reading, the theater, movies, walking and swimming. Having just been through a double hip replacement, I am looking forward to getting back to playing golf and tennis this winter. My great love is having the opportunity to be part of the wonderful Academia Hernando organization.
Tell me more about that.
Academia Hernando is a learning-in-retirement organization, with weekly lectures held during two terms — mid September to Thanksgiving and then again beginning in January and running until the end of March. We always hold our lectures beginning at 10 a.m. on Mondays at Nativity Lutheran Church at 6363 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee.
Academia Hernando is extremely popular with our enthusiastic audiences. We have speakers on a multitude of different subjects. The fall schedule began Sept. 19 with Mike Konrad, editor of the Hernando Times, who spoke about "The Future of Print Media," followed by Ross Lamoreaux last week, who spoke about "The Civil War on the West Coast of Florida."
The rest of the schedule is as follows:
Monday: Christine Keefe. Topic: "The Middle East and How Do They Keep Cool?"
Oct. 10: Jim Mendenhall. Topic: "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Florida Snakes."
Oct. 17: Kurt Wilt, Saint Leo University. Topic: "American and English Romantic Poetry."
Oct. 24: Richard Esterbrook. Topic: "What Lies Underneath Florida?"
Oct. 31: Bus trip, open to Academia Hernando subscribers only.
Nov. 7: Sonny Vergara. Topic: "Florida Today: An Overview of Where We Are and Where the State is Going."
Nov. 14: John Wien. Topic: "Truth?"
Nov. 21: Concert
For information, call (352) 597-0158.
Do you have any special hobbies?
Academia Hernando takes up a lot of my time, which is great. We have a very hard-working and enthusiastic board, so the workload is spread evenly.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
Visiting my local Hernando County library and going to the movies. I enjoy taking a drive to Pine Island and then on through Bayport and Aripeka. Hernando County is very beautiful and also has great golf courses.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
If somehow people could be encouraged more to use the services of THE Bus. We need proper bus stops and bus shelters.
As the population ages and the price of gas inevitably increases, this will become an essential part of our daily life. Of course, a full bus service like I envisage would mean increased taxes (which none of us want), but perhaps in the future a private company could be encouraged to run the service. Free bus passes could be issued to retired people in order to encourage out-of-work hours use of THE Bus.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
As a young woman, I lived in Paris for a year learning the French language. I took a course on French civilization at the Sorbonne. I followed this by spending six months in Italy learning Italian.
Also, I was a stewardess with BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corp.) on the world's first passenger jet aircraft — the Comet 4C — and I have traveled to most countries of the world. Now I want to see more of the United States.
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@example.com or (352) 848-1438.