Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of chats with local seniors about their lives, youthful aspirations, sources of pride and regret, plus a bit of wisdom to share with younger folks.
Artist Susan Malloy, 88, recalls being three feet away from President Obama while attending the recent re-election rally for him in Stamford.
She found the President very warm and charming. She wishes she could have a one-on-one talk with him.
Q: How long have you lived in Westport?
A: 43 years.
Q: Are you married?
A: Widowed 13 years after a long and happy marriage to Edwin Malloy.
Q: Children, grandchildren?
A: Two children, four grandchildren.
Q: Are you retired?
A: Artists don't retire.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An artist.
Q: What was a significant moment or defining time in your childhood?
A: Going to private school in New York City. It was Lincoln School, affiliated with Columbia University.
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
A: Painting, gardening.
Q: Do you have a favorite work of art?
A: Anything by Cezanne.
Q: What music do you listen to?
A: Classical, with concentration on Mozart.
Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: "The Intouchables," a French-language film with puppets.
Q: What TV do you watch regularly?
A: Channel 13; Turner Classic Movies; the news.
Q: Who do you think was the best U.S. president and why?
A: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He got us out of the Great Depression and World War II.
Q: If you could tell President Obama one thing, what would that be?
A: Health care is an important issue.
Q: What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Drivers in Westport who skip red lights.
Q: Do you have any regrets in life?
A: Only that I have not made more of myself by marketing my artistic works.
Q: What, if anything, are you greatly concerned about?
A: The state of the world, the state of our country.
Q: Best piece of advice for the younger generation?
A: Know what you want to do and work hard to do it. Sometimes, though, you just have to settle for what happens.
Q: What brings you greatest joy?
A: Skiing when I was young was a lot of fun. Now, my joy comes from painting and gardening.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: Growing old, keeping going. My mother died at 91. I don't want to grow too old.
Q: Tell me about the little book you published two years ago titled "A Young Person's Guide to Paris."
A: I took two grandchildren to Paris, rented an apartment for a week and toured sights, including the Eiffel Tower, which is spectacular when lighted at night. Hidden merry-go-rounds are revealed. The booklet with my illustrations is available at the Westport Arts Center on Riverside Avenue for $10.
Q: If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for?
A: I'd wish for life to be happy and healthy for all.
Pmccormack@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 116