Q: How long have you lived in Greenwich?
C: My whole life.
J: I was born here.
Q: How do you think Greenwich has changed over the years?
C: I don't care much the way it is today. Everybody is rushing too much. Everybody used to have picnics. It's not the same world.
J: I was born on a farm on this property on Riversville. It's all changed with houses all around us. They dug those lakes when the parkway came through. I used to be able to hunt around here -- pheasant and partridge, rabbits and squirrels. My grandfather Jesse Hvolbeck had a farm with cows and pigs and chickens. Russet apples were his main crop -- he used to send them to England. We sold off some of the land to the Round Hill Club.
Q: How long have you two been married?
C: 72 years married, and liking it.
Q: Do you have any children? Grandchildren?
C: Two girls, six grandchildren.
J: And five great grandchildren.
Q: What did you do full time?
C: I worked at UPS at Greenwich Park -- they were a great firm to work for. I knew everybody who came in. It was just great.
J: I first worked on the farm, pulling corn and potatoes and taking care of chickens. We had hundreds of chickens and lots of eggs. My father was an electrical contractor so I trained to be an electrician -- but it was in the 1930s when nobody was building houses. I then worked for five different banks -- same bank different names. The bank sent me to school. I ended up as a commercial loan officer with Bank of America on Greenwich Avenue, loaning money to U.S. Tobacco, Xerox, and to smaller merchants on Greenwich Avenue. Read Full Article
Q: What was the most important thing you learned from your work?
C: How to use a computer. One day they said they're taking my machine away -- my typewriter. They had someone come and teach me on the computer. I love it now. I couldn't live without it.
J: The bank sent me to Dartmouth grad school -- the Amos Tuck School. I then went three years to the University of Wisconsin for general banking. This was very important as I didn't know anything about banking. I went in as a runner being paid $12 a week. I ended up as a first vice president. But from 1942-45 I was drafted into the Army. I served in the 8th Infantry Division in Ireland and landed on Omaha Beach. I went through Germany and France and ended up in Salzburg, Austria when we met the Russians. It didn't cost me a nickel to see all those countries. What a great experience. I wouldn't change it for anything.
C: He thinks everyone needs to go into service to learn training -- for the discipline. When he was at war I worked at Maguire's Industries in the daytime and as a nurse's aide at Greenwich Hospital nights and weekends.
Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your childhood?
C: I can think of Jim's better than my own. When he talked about chickens, his granddad used to kill them and hang them up on a clothes line. One day Jim's younger brother said, to his granddad, "I no chicken, I Elmer."
C: I was quite a daredevil on a bike. I used to go up to King Street at the beginning of Cowley and sail down the hill, my hair blowing in the breeze.
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
C: We used to play cards all the time.
J: I love to do woodworking. I made this TV/Hifi cabinet. And I've done a lot of volunteer work. I was treasurer for Christ Church for 10 years and for the Girl Scouts of Greenwich for four or five years. I was president of the Exchange Club in New York City and I used to count all the money for the Community Chest and the American Red Cross.
Q: Do you have a favorite sport?
C: Bicycling when I could do it.
J: I used to go hunting and fishing on the Byram River, and I skied Stratton Mountain. When we started to go to Venice, Florida, I played golf and tennis. I've won so many trophies I don't know what to do with them all.
Q: Do you have a favorite book? What is a recent one you enjoyed?
C: "Gone With the Wind," and I like Debbie Macomber's love stories.
J: Tolstoy's "War and Peace."
Q: Do you have a favorite work of art?
C: There was a Miss Plack at Greenwich High -- she was a great art teacher.
J: "This old print by John Lomar called "Overtaken." It tells a whole story.
Q: What music do you listen to and what is a favorite piece of music?
C: I like classical music. Nothing jazzy.
J: I love all classical music -- mostly Viennese waltzes.
Q: If you could tell the president of the United States one thing, now, what would it be?
C: Just go and leave us alone.
J: He's destroyed the country. He wants to make it a socialist country controlled by the government.
Q: What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
C: Making that eagle hooked rug over there.
J: Coming up from a very poor environment, I was able to accomplish a lot of things.
C: We were so poor that when my father died we had no insurance to bury him. I was 14 and my mother was left with me and two unruly younger brothers. We were always looking for a place with a cheaper rent. Those were tough years.
Q: If you had a magic wand what would you wish for?
C: My granddaughter just had a heart transplant at 26 and I wish that she won't reject that heart transplant and that she'll live the years she's entitled to. I wish for myself to never be in pain again and to walk on my own but she comes first. She's a special ed. teacher.
J: Good health for all my family. I don't need anything for myself.
Q: What, if anything, are you deeply concerned about?
C: Having to grow up in this peculiar word -- I'm glad I'm on my way out instead of my way in.
J: The condition this country is heading in when young people are being told -- better not go to work, just go on the dole. They're collecting unemployment insurance and signing up for Obamacare. That's so disturbing.
Q: Best piece of advice to give to the younger generation?
J: Go to school and stay in school and get trained for a job they can make a living off of , and not think the government will take care of them.
C: They better get their act together and train for something.
Q: What brings you your greatest joy?
C: Seeing my grandchildren. We had 30 wonderful years in Venice, Fla.
J: Watching my children grow up and mature and wishing the best for them now that they can't play any fun and games.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
C: Eternity. I'm so happy that I know about it and that there is one.
J: I love being on the computer with my iPad. I can get all the sermons from Christ Church and the talks from Men on Fire and the Retired Men's Association.