In the Easy Chair with JoAnne Smith

In the Easy Chair with JoAnne Smith



AGE: My driver’s license says 53 but my mind and body insist it’s 23.

OCCUPATION:   Director of development, WARM Center, Westerly

RESIDENCE:  Niantic.

BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Born at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Grew up in Boise until the age of 13, then moved to East Lyme. I’ve been living in Tucson, Ariz., and Harpster, Idaho, for the last 29 years and am happy to have moved back to the East Coast!

RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Unpacking.

I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: Outdoors doing anything regardless of the weather and listening to live music, especially if it’s outdoors.

MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Being hired at the WARM Center. My background is not in social services and I am amazed every day at the tenacity of the staff to find creative solutions to help those who need it. I feel proud to be a part of this organization and go home happy every day.

I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Being someone who can change your bad day into a good day by making you laugh and putting things in perspective. 

TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Lying on a rooftop to watch an incredible aurora borealis display.

ALWAYS IN MY POCKET: Coconut balm.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: An archaeologist.  I’m a very patient person.

PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: A childhood friend who died young from a terminal illness. She taught me to enjoy life as it comes, not to make mountains out of the small things that may irritate me, and not to act like a victim when life seems unfair.

FAVORITE AUTHOR: None.  I read whatever looks interesting.

BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: “Imajica” by Clive Barker.      

I AM LISTENING TO: Third Eye Blind.

FAVORITE MOVIE:  “Braveheart,” “Gladiator, “Little Big Man,” and “The Sting.”

LAST MOVIE WATCHED: “Wind,” which was inspired by events from the 1987 America’s Cup Race. I am new to sailing but captivated by the mechanics of getting the boat where you need it to be.

FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Ancient Aliens.” Not for the alien angle but to see the fascinating sites with mysterious origins. 

FAVORITE SONG: Too many to list. I love music, it can change my mood in an instant. I never get tired of hearing “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD:  Grilled cheese.

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: I don’t do a lot of online social networking, I prefer the face-to-face kind.  

TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE:  Being nonjudgmental.  

PET PEEVE:  Smokers who don’t think cigarette butts are litter.

FAVORITE QUOTATION: If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. — Henry Ford.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD:  The gorgeous architectural details on the older homes I see in every type of neighborhood.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: The internet. It knows everything!

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I like snakes.

BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Don’t settle for “there’s always tomorrow,” make the most of today.

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE:  You control your own feelings. No one can make you feel inferior, or sad, or stupid.  

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD:  Make the rulers of each country fight on the front line if they chose to start a conflict.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS:  Fund all the no kill animal shelters.

I DRIVE A: Dark blue 2003 Jeep Wrangler

I WISH I DROVE A:  Gold-inlaid chariot with three snow-white horses.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Cheese of every kind.

IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE:  The landscape designers of the Gardens of Babylon.

— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro


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