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Cribbage, the coast and a great wife
WEST PARIS – Having lived many years away from the ocean Joe Newbert still misses the smell of a fishing village and the breeze off the ocean. However, he has carved out a pretty happy life in Oxford Hills.
Q: Where were you born and where were you brought up?
A: I was born and brought up in Stonington, which is a small fishing town on the coast of Maine.
Q: Do you have many siblings?
A: I have a brother, Jeffery who lives in Colorado and a sister, Sheila who lives in Fort Kent.
Q: What did your parents do?
A: My mother was a stay-at-home mom, but she passed away when I was 11. My father was a construction worker.
Q: What was it like growing up?
A: It was a lot of fun and I had a lot of friends. Growing up in a small fishing village where everyone knew everyone else I couldn’t get away with anything. If I got in trouble on the school bus my father knew about it before I got home.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to be when you grew up?
A: I just knew that I didn’t want to be a fisherman. I had a lot of jobs over the years and didn’t know what I wanted to do until I got older and learned how to be a burner technician.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: Deer-Isle Stonington Junior and Senior High School. I graduated in 1984.
Q: Did you get into mischief or play pranks?
A: Nothing I can put in the paper! My friends and I played a lot of pranks.
Q: What have you had for jobs?
A: I think I’ve done just about everything. I was a carpenter’s apprentice, I worked at a gas station, I’ve done food service and now master burner technician and I love it. I currently work as head tech for L.M. Longley in Norway.
Q: When and how did you meet your spouse?
A: I met my wife Shirley 20 some years ago at a Head Start convention at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. We were both on the same advisory board.
Q: What did you do for work when you go married?
A: I was unemployed when I met her, but was working in food services at Oxford Plains Speedway when we got married.
Q: Anyone ever said you look like someone famous?
A: People poke fun at me saying I look like one of the Mario Brothers.
Q: Did you do much traveling?
A: I was in the Air Force so a traveled a bit. I’ve been to Texas, Canada and all over New England.
Q: Which place was the most fascinating and why?
A: Home is the most fascinating. I’m a home boy at heart.
Q: Did anyone influence you to the point of changing your direction in life?
A: If anyone, it would have been my mother. I promised her that I would not drink until I became of age and I kept that promise. When I was old enough I got very drunk and didn’t like the results. I rarely drink.
Q: Do you collect anything or have a hobby?
A: I’m an avid bowler and I bowl a lot. I also play a lot of cribbage and enter cribbage tournaments.
Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Saddle Tramp series.
Q: What subject do you wish you knew more about?
Q: What is the one thing you would happily do over again?
A: Marry my wife, Shirley. I’d do it better the second time around. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: There’s hers, mine and ours, so yes I have a total of nine. There’s Scott, Jason, Michael, Denny, Cindy, Rachel, Jacob, Nicholas and Steven. I have eight grandchildren, Lucas, Nick, Matthew, Benjamin, Brooklyn, Brandon, Jordan and Joyce. And a baby boy is on the way.
Q: What was the best memory this interview brought back?
A: Memories of home, growing up on the island.
Q: What scares you the most?
A: Falling. I’m not afraid of heights once I get there, but I’m scared of falling on the way up.
Q: What would you like people to know about you?
A: I’m an honest person and I like what I do for a living. I like to have fun and I try to treat people the way I want them to treat me.
Q: Last day on earth, what would you do and with whom?
A: I would spend it with my mom if only I could and I would be happy to do that anywhere in the world.
Q: If anyone could walk in right now, whom would you most like to see?
A: My parents.
Q: Any regrets?
A: Not that I care to elaborate on.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Probably doing the same thing I’m doing now. Maybe in business for myself and hopefully better off financially.
Q: Any heroes?
A: My wife, she’s a strong woman and a very clever person. I just don’t tell her enough just how great she is.