Seniority/ Westporter recalls Great Depression, FDR
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.
The following is an interview with Anne Beers, 86, a real estate agent.
Q: Do you live in Westport?
A: Yes -- 42 years.
Q: Are you married?
A: Was for 32 years to college sweetheart. Now divorced.
A: Danny, Natalie, Janet -- all born in Massachusetts.
A: Three boys, five girls. Three live in Dallas; five in Connecticut.
Q: Are you retired?
Q: What did you do when you worked full-time?
A: Real estate agent since 1969. Was working on masters degree in counseling when my husband was transferred from Boston to Dallas. The real estate agent we bought our house from said I was a natural and must come to work for his firm.
Q: What did you want to do when you grew up?
A: An aviatrix.
Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your childhood?
A: The Great Depression. Beggars would come to our front door, and my mother would give them food. We lived in a big house in a fancy neighborhood.
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
A: Playing bridge, entertaining, rooting for the Boston Red Sox. Interests are all around Westport. To wit: seven years on the AARP board; 15 on the Greens Farms Association Board. Active for what seems like forever in Westport Women's Club, AAUW, VFW, League of Women Voters, Y's Women.
Q: Do you have a favorite work of art?
A: My mom painted furniture. I cherish the pieces I have.
Q: What music do you listen to, and what is your favorite piece?
Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: Two: "Gone With the Wind" and "On Golden Pond."
Q: Do you have a favorite actor or actress?
Q: What T.V. show do you watch regularly?
A: CNN, Channel 13, "Law and Order."
Q: Who do you think was the best President of the United States and why?
A: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He pulled us out of the Great Depression, brought in Social Security and Medicare -- and didn't hesitate to declare war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Q: If you could tell the President of the United States one thing, what would it be?
A: Protect the middle class. Don't let big corporations run our country.
Q: What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
A: Going shopping and buying things I don't need.
Q: Do you have any regrets in life?
A: Not really. I've had a great life.
Q: What achievements in life are you most proud of?
A: Leaving college and enlisting in the Navy Hospital Corps, becoming a Pharmacist's Mate 3rd Class. I worked with emotionally upset sailors returning from Iwo Jima and the Pacific Theater of War. After that I went back to Tufts University and graduated magna cum laude. All that is what I'm most proud of.
Q: What, if anything, are you greatly concerned about?
A: The Far Right of the Republican Party, who want to overthrow all the advancements we have made for women's rights.
Q: Best piece of advice for the younger generation?
A: Do unto others. Join Rotary and give back to others.
Q: What brings you your greatest joy?
A: Having a great time with my wonderful family; partying with friends. I am looking forward to more of the same.