Your Turn

Your Turn/Bill Durall

Posted: Sep. 3, 2017 12:01 am

With BILL DURALL

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... lots of things, but I never dreamed of making a career in the military.

What would you rather be doing right now? Fishing or reading a good book.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I once bowled an "all spares game" in a junior bowling league in Hull.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? When I graduated from Officer Training School with honors. That marked the culmination of lots of hard work in a stressful environment and the beginning of a brighter future for me and my family.

It really stinks when ... people get ugly with each other in a discussion. We all need to take a breath, work hard to listen to others and try to understand their perspective.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Duty. I'm much more motivated by the things I need to do rather than things I want to do.

I always laugh when ... lots of things happen. I have a very active sense of humor and can find the funny side of almost any situation -- eventually.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? My Grandfather Durall (who died before I was born), my dad and my Aunt Virginia. My dad and my aunt were two of the wisest and most interesting people I have ever known, and I'd like to sit down with them and my grandfather to hear them reminisce.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... aloof, or so I've been told.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... working with Gen. Ron Fogleman at Scott AFB. He later went on to become Chief of Staff for the Air Force.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... move back down to Biloxi, Miss. Too hot and way too humid.

America should be more concerned about ... working to be for each other instead of waging ideological wars against each other. Together we can do phenomenal things, and we need to remember that in a nation of 320 million people, we will never all agree on anything.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... books. I've collected many of them over the years.

When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... information sites, and I really like TED Talks. They're a great way to learn lots of new information.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? After a personal setback, my dad always reminded me, "The sun will come up in the east tomorrow, and it will be a new day." When I get discouraged, I recall that.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... National Public Radio. By the way, the Pittsfield station is 89.3 (repeater from Springfield); Quincy's station is 90.3 (repeater from St. Louis) on the FM dial.

I always get sentimental when ... I see people helping others.

The older I get, the more I realize ... that I'm getting older. I can't do stuff as easily as I could in the past and staying in shape takes a lot more work.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... have studied harder during my freshman year in college. That was the year I learned that I really hadn't had to study much in high school.

My favorite item of clothing is ... my Air Force uniform. I was on active duty for 37 years, and it was time for me to retire when I did, but I still miss being a part of that team of great, dedicated professionals.

If I've learned anything at all ... People are our most important gift and resource, so we should treat everyone with respect and kindness.

Bill Durall, 67, and his wife Peggy grew up in Pike County, traveled the world while he was in the Air Force and returned to Pittsfield when he retired. The Duralls have a daughter in Seattle, a son in St. Louis and one grandson. He is currently very active in Rotary.

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