The longtime Wendell resident and Knightdale attorney, who specializes in wills and estate administration, likes to stay on the move with his grandchildren by his side.
Q: You have been a fixture in eastern Wake County for so long, but are you originally from the area? And were you ever interested in anything other than becoming an attorney?
A: I was born in Scotland County. I was the only child and when I was a little kid, my dream was to play centerfield for the New York Yankees, but that didn’t work out (laughing).
Q: Who was your favorite Yankee? Did you ever play baseball in college?
A: Mickey Mantle was my favorite Yankee. I did play baseball in high school, but not college (Wake Forest University). I have been to a few games in Yankee Stadium, so that has been nice.
Q: What inspired you to become a lawyer? Was someone in your family an attorney?
A: No, no one in my family was an attorney. I didn’t have the intentions of becoming a lawyer when I entered college. I originally majored in business administration and I later changed my major. I don’t remember why exactly – maybe it was a business class that dealt with legal matters.
Q: And you met your wife in college?
A: My wife and I were high school sweethearts. We married before I entered graduate school.
Q: How long have you been married? And what advice would you give someone on having a successful marriage?
A: We have been married 42 years. What advice would I give? Well, you have to be willing to compromise. And you’ve got to make more of the other person than you do of yourself.
Q: Did your two children follow in your footsteps and choose to join the legal profession?
A: My daughter is a speech therapist, and she lives in Greensboro. My son lives in Suffolk, Va., and he is a salesman.
Q: Growing up in Scotland County, did you not want to return home and practice law?
A: Clarence Kirk interviewed me in 1974, and I took a job with his law firm. I have been here ever since.
Q: How do you enjoy spending your free time?
A: I like working in the yard. I like to propagate plants and start new plants. My wife fusses at me because I have so many pots out back. I also enjoy playing golf, and I like to run.
Q: Is running something you have done for a long time, or is this something new?
A: I have stayed at it. I have been running my whole life. I got committed to it when I was in law school. It was in 1972 and Frank Shorter won the Olympic marathon. Watching him really inspired me.
Q: Have you run in any marathons yourself?
A: I have not run in any marathons, but I have done a half marathon.
Q: What was your finishing time?
A: I finished (laughing). I have also done 5Ks and 10Ks. In fact, I am running in a 5K Thanksgiving day in Raleigh. Of course, there are the physical benefits, but there are a lot of mental benefits as well. It is a great stress reliever.
Q: Does your family join you?
A: My son and daughter have run with me before. My 5-year-old grandson in Greensboro is a member of the YMCA and is part of a running program there for kids. They are having a 5K in Greensboro and I am going to run in that with him.
Q: That sounds great – do your grandchildren visit you much?
A: We do get to see them quite often. And every time they come to visit, we have to go to Aubrey’s for cheeseburgers and hot dogs. If we don’t, they would rebel. And for the holidays, everyone is coming here so I am looking forward to that.
Correspondent Dena Coward