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Nursing, mothering and gardening
MILTON – Being raised in a very small town in Maine can be pretty boring, but for Tina Testerman there was not a lot of time to be bored. Being the oldest of four children and having ill parents from time to time put a lot of responsibility on Testerman’s young shoulders, but she has no regrets. It’s that strong sense of responsibility that has helped shape her and carry her through life.
Q: Where were you born and where were you brought up?
A: I was born in Rumford and brought up in Milton.
Q: Do you have many siblings?
A: Yes, I have three, two younger brothers and a younger sister.
Q: What did your parents do?
A: My father was a mill worker at what was Oxford Paper Company back then. Now it’s Mead and located in Rumford. My mother was a housewife.
Q: What was it like growing up?
A: It was good, but a lot of responsibility. I helped take care of my brothers and sister. My mother was sick for a while so I did a lot to help the family. My father had a heart attack at a young age so I tried my best to help out with my parents too.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a nurse and I did become one. I also wanted to be a mother and I became that too.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I went to school in Rumford. It was Rumford High School at the time, now it’s River Valley.
Q: Did you get into mischief or play pranks?
A: Not too bad. I just tried to be good and I was too shy and everything in my life was too serious to play very much.
Q: What have you had for jobs?
A: When I was a teenager I was babysitting a lot and I help the people I sat for take care of food for winter canning and stuff. They were really poor. I was a nurse at Rumford Community Home and most important I am a mother. I currently work at Gould Academy doing line serving.
Q: How many children do you have?
A: I have two sons and one daughter.
Q: Anyone ever said you look like someone famous?
Q: Did you do much traveling?
A: Not really anymore. I used to go to Prince Edward Island in Canada a lot to visit family there. We also had family in New Hampshire and Maryland and got to go there on occasion.
Q: Which place was the most fascinating and why?
A: I liked Prince Edward Island, but also the places in this country I went too because of the ocean. I love the ocean and it seemed to be close where even I went.
Q: Did anyone influence you to the point of changing your direction in life?
A: Not really. I always kind of did my own thing trying to be as nice and helpful to others as I could be.
Q: Do you collect anything or have a hobby?
A: I collect Beanies and plants. I like to garden; I have a really big garden. I also like to knit, crochet and read.
Q: What scares you the most?
A: I don’t think I’m “scared” of anything. I try to take things one day at a time and deal with it that way. That’s all you can do.
Q: What was the last book you read?
A: Stephen King’s Thinner.
Q: What subject do you wish you knew more about?
A: I wish I know a lot more about science because it’s so interesting.
Q: What is the one thing you would not give up?
A: My family; my kids.
Q: What is the one thing you would happily do over again?
A: Have my kids.
Q: What was the best memory this interview brought back?
A: Watching my kids learning new things.
Q: Last day on earth, what would you do and with whom?
A: Have a big meal with my family all around me.
Q: If anyone could walk in right now, whom would you most like to see?
A: My father-in-law who was my “Dad!” He died 14 years ago.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I see myself with my family, keeping it a close-knit family with my kids, grandkids and future great-grandkids.