In the EASY CHAIR with Sarah Lufler

In the EASY CHAIR with Sarah Lufler

AGE: 39.

OCCUPATION:  Branch director, Westerly-Pawcatuck Branch, Ocean Community YMCA.

RESIDENCE:  Pawcatuck.

BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Guilford, Conn.


I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: Laughing as much as possible.

MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: When I turned 25, I packed up my ’93 Maxima, grabbed a box of Cheerios and left Guilford for Syracuse, N.Y.  It was a total leap, I didn’t have a job lined up, and I only knew one person in the area (who lived an hour away).  I got a part-time job as a gym monitor at a YMCA that had just opened. I remember not having the gas to visit my friend AND get to work in the same week — it was definitely a learning experience. I was able to work my way up to sports director in a few months, and that’s how I started my Y career.

I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Always trying to do the right thing, even if it’s not the popular thing.

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Road-tripping the U.S.


WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: When I was a kid, I wanted to be an architect and draw big plans and designs like the dad on the Brady Bunch. Every summer job I ever had has been in coaching, camp, recreation, or sports. The Y has always been a perfect fit.

PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: My first major influence outside of my family was my high school basketball coach. I still drop “coach lines” all the time!

FAVORITE AUTHOR: Beverly Cleary.

BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: “Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir,” by Claudia Williams, and “Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White.

I AM LISTENING TO: My playlist shamelessly holds onto anything from the ’90s.

FAVORITE MOVIE: “The American President.”

LAST MOVIE WATCHED: “Avengers: Infinity War.”

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: “Friends,” “Frasier,” “Mad Men,” are all recent binges. If someone would just bring back “Beverly Hills, 90210” … more shameless ’90s plugs.

FAVORITE SONG: “You Move Me” by Garth Brooks.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Chicken. Always chicken.



PET PEEVE: Disloyalty. 

FAVORITE QUOTATION: “People with good intentions make promises. People with character keep them.”

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Shoreline breezes (in Syracuse the wind’s either 0 mph or 20 mph, there’s no happy medium).

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Family and friends.  

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I was one of the YMCA “Rookies of the Year” in New York in 2006.

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: You either get better, or you get worse. You never stay the same.

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: Don’t use 30 words when three will do.

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: We’d spend a lot more of our resources keeping folks fed, happy, and healthy. 

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: My dad just survived his second bout with Stage 4 cancer, so, I’d buy him the hot dog shack he’s always wanted to operate, and then I’d stick my dream chicken wing hut right next to it. Dogs and wings for everyone!

I DRIVE A: Black 2017 Subaru Impreza.

I WISH I DROVE A: I’m not a big “car envy” person.  The Subaru was the first new car I’ve ever bought.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Seltzer. And banana peppers.

IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: I’d like to host one of the Christmas dinners we used to have at my grandparents’ house when I was younger.  They’re gone now, but everyone at that table would have a great time catching up.

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro


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