Q: How long have you lived in Greenwich?
A: Since I moved into this house in Cos Cob, in 1973.
Q: How do you think Greenwich has changed over the years?
A: What is this town's motto? Once planted, you stay? People are more mobile than they were. If they weren't born here they moved here and it was a final destination. In Cos Cob we really need a grocery story. And Mill Pond needs to be dredged. It used to be more of a pond 40 years ago.
Q: Are you married? How long?
A: I'm married to Bill Cameron for 42 years.
Q: Do you have any children? Grandchildren?
A: Three sons, Billy, Jonathan and Leon, and two granddaughters, and my son Billy is guardian of a young boy.
Q: Are you retired?
Q: What did you do when you worked full time?
A: Initially, I was a social service worker for Catholic Charities for the city of New York. After I was married I worked part time at the Cos Cob Library. Then I worked for the Board of Education for 15 years. I was an instructional aide at Folsom House. I was one of the night callers to make sure the children went to class. You'd call parents and tell them their child missed Art Experience and ask what the reason was. I retired from that job in 2003. I also worked once or twice a week on Election Day and Primary Day. I was an official checker and a machine tender. I loved the job. Those were long days. Regardless of your partisanship, by the end of the day you didn't care who won.
Q: What was the most important thing you learned in your work?
A: That people are wonderful. I worked in the South Bronx in the 1960s and early 1970s and there were wonderful people in the South Bronx. Working in Cos Cob Library there were marvelous people I was privileged to get to know. And meeting all the election workers as well as the general public. Read Full Article
Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your childhood?
A: Every summer we would go to New Jersey. Everyone would take a bungalow, and we would have friends there and I would see my cousins.
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
A: Genealogy, collecting political buttons and I've written a few local histories. I volunteer to do the genealogy programs for the Friends of the Cos Cob Library. Eleven years ago, a friend and I -- we both loved genealogy -- proposed the idea of the genealogy program and since then we've had four or five speakers a year. We have wonderful speakers. Five or six years ago we had the Irish Ulster History Foundation come to us on a nationwide tour and we were number one on their tour. People are still talking about it. I wrote a history of the Cos Cob School for the 20th century that I have updated. I assisted in writing a history of Diamond Hill Church. And with two others I wrote a history of Greenwich High School for their PTA. I also did a history of a Catholic church in the South Bronx -- St. Luke's -- for its 100th anniversary.
Q: Do you have a favorite sport?
A: I didn't really have one. I did have to learn to swim in college in order to graduate. It took till my junior year to learn.
Q: Do you have a favorite book?
A: I love biographies. I loved a Barnum biography written in 1970-80s and one on the Rockefellers. I recently read a digital biography on John D. Rockefeller I got on my Kindle Fire. I do like a Kindle.
Q: Do you have a favorite work of art?
A: My husband Bill's paintings. My favorite is of the guided missile cruiser he served on.
Q: What music do you listen to and what is a favorite piece of music?
A: Mostly music of the 1950s and 1960s.
Q: If you could tell the president of the United States one thing, now, what would it be?
A: Keep things simple. Sometimes we look for solutions when there are too many pages. Keep the goals as simple as possible.
Q: What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
A: Marrying Bill and having my three sons and my two granddaughters and my two daughters-in-law.
Q: If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for?
A: I love this new Pope. I think he is great. I'd like an audience with the Pope to have a conversation with him. I think he would do it.
Q: What, if anything, are you deeply concerned about?
A: The educational system needs to be worked on. Not summer school -- kids need vacation. Kids should have adventures -- not just sit at home. They need more trips to have a broader sense of the world, like getting exposed to museums and things like that.
Q: Best piece of advice to give to the younger generation?
A: Keep the faith. That was the old expression when we parted with friends. I think this is the greatest country on earth. We need to respect one another and keep the faith in the U.S., in our family, in our church and in our institutions.
Q: What brings you your greatest joy?
A: My granddaughters, but we don't get to see them that often.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: In May, our youngest granddaughter will make her Holy Communion. We'll go down to Florida for that. We've already gotten her a gift, a pearl necklace. Hopefully, she'll wear it on her wedding day.