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Mother, son J.J. and horses, horses, horses
PARIS – Growing up with two older brothers in a very rural area of Maine has made a bit of a tomboy out of Beth Gurney. She is happiest when engaging in activities a little more rough and rugged than the average young woman would aspire to.
Having experienced some up and downs in her life, the birth of a son gave Gurney focus and a strong reason to become a better person.
Q: Where were you born and where were you brought up?
A: I was born at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway and brought up in Milton Township.
Q: Do you have many siblings?
A: I have two older brothers.
Q: What did your parents do?
A: My mother was a CNA and my father owned his own logging business. They both worked really hard trying to make it better for us kids.
Q: What was it like growing up?
A: It was really good. We had plenty of toys, snowmobiles and four wheelers. We had a lot of animals that I loved, especially the horses. I used to go horseback riding a lot and loved every minute of it.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to be when you grew up?
A: I don’t remember anything specific other than I want to have horses no matter what. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.
Q: Did you get into mischief or play pranks?
A: I got into my fair share of mischief. My brothers and I used to play around a lot often doing things you could consider mischief. We used pull jokes on our parents just to try to mess with their minds.
Q: What have you had for jobs?
A: I worked at Sunday River in housekeeping and security. I also worked at the Bethel Inn in housekeeping. I’ve done a lot of odd jobs helping other people. I’ve done whatever I could find to do.
Q: Anyone ever said you look like someone famous?
A: Not that I know of.
Q: Did you do much traveling?
A: We went to Prince Edward Island in Canada a lot when I was a kid because we had relatives there. I’ve also been to New Jersey.
Q: Which place was the most fascinating and why?
A: That would be Prince Edward Island. There’s a cliff that is just incredible to look below and see the ocean. And the red sand is really amazing.
Q: Did anyone influence you to the point of changing your direction in life?
A: My mother for sure. I had a period in my life when I was struggling and making some really bad choices, but my mother has helped me to become a better person. And certainly my son, J. J. has been pretty strong incentive for me to make better choices.
Q: Do you collect anything or have a hobby?
A: I like things with a horse theme like blankets and music boxes, but it’s not an active collection. I guess if I have a hobby it would be reading. I love to get lost in a good book.
Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Host by Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series.
Q: What subject do you wish you knew more about?
A: I wish I knew more about history. I hated it in high school and now I love learning about all kinds of history.
Q: What is the one thing you would not give up?
A: My son!
Q: What is the one thing you would happily do over again?
A: Have my son!
Q: What was the best memory this interview brought back?
A: Having horses and going riding. And some of the stupid things my brothers and I used to do.
Q: Last day on earth, what would you do and with whom?
A: I’d do anything that would be fun for J.J. Whatever he wanted would be just fine with me.
Q: If anyone could walk in right now, who would you most like to see?
A: That would be my grandfather who passed away in 1995. I’d love to hear what he thinks about how things are in 2012.
Q: Any regrets?
A: A lot!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: At my son’s graduation and I’ll be the proudest parent there. Hopefully, because of the changes I’ve made he will see me as a positive role model. He is the light of my life.
Q: Any heroes?
A: My mother and my son.