Snapshot: Bill Watts, Jr
Occupation: I am a tool and die maker. I'm a welder with PMC Engineering, LLC, in Danbury. I've been there for 30 years. I also mow fields around town for the Newtown Forest Association and have been doing that for 20 years. On top of that, I also help my parents, who own a Christmas tree farm in Dodgingtown.
Family: My mom, Evelyn Watts, and my dad, Bill Watts, still live in Newtown and are both heavily involved in the community with Rotary Club. My wife, Judy, and I have been married for 26 years. We have three kids: Kyle is 23 and working to become a plumber; Megan is 22 and doing student teaching to be an elementary school teacher; and Melissa will be 20 in November and is in her junior year of college for animal studies and marine biology.
Pets: We have a dog named Shadow; three cats named Roger, T-bird, and Homer; and a rabbit named Sam.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I was born and raised here. The house I live in now in Sandy Hook was my grandparent's home that my mom was raised in. The house has been in the family for 80 years.
What do you like to do in your free time? I've been volunteering as an assistant scout master with a Boy Scout troop here in Newtown for the last 12 years. I'm also a lifelong Boy Scout myself. I enjoy giving back to the community. I'm also involved with the CAMA [Connecticut Antique Machinery Association] up in Kent. And besides mowing the fields for the Newtown Forest Association, I help out at their wine tasting events and take care of lighting and parking.
What is your favorite travel destination? I have two. About every five years we go to Hilton Head, and it's beautiful. I like that you can park, then ride your bicycles everywhere on the paths by the beaches. The other one is Vermont. Every year the whole Watts family gets together up at Okemo. It ends up being 18 to 20 of us, and we have a big, long, weekend ski trip. When the family comes together like that, it's good memories.
What is the best part about Newtown? For me, it's my lifelong friends. Many are still here, and we still get together. Also, it's the community spirit, like when everyone comes together for the Labor Day Parade and the LobsterFest. Since we've been in town so long, those events are like a high school reunion or homecoming. The people here genuinely care about this town.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? Mom and Dad. They always had a saying that there was no such word as can't, you can do anything if you put your mind to it, and to always give 110 percent. I instilled those words with my own kids, so consequently they are not afraid of trying anything, either.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? If I could choose two, it would be my mother's father and my dad's mother. I spent a lot of time with them growing up. I used to work at my grandmother's restaurant in Cooperstown, N.Y., from the time I was 15 to 18, and she never got to meet my kids. I'd want to spend the day with my grandfather because he had the house I live in, in town, and he only saw pictures of my kids when they were small. I'd like for them to get to see my family and show them how things are now.
Who is your favorite musical artist? I like just about everything, except rap, but I always go back to country. One of my favorite old-time artists that's been around forever is Alan Jackson. I like the band Alabama, and Brad Paisley, too.
Do you have a favorite TV show? I enjoy the cooking channel. Also, my wife and I faithfully watch Grey's Anatomy.
What is your favorite quote? I always tell my kids, "Honesty is the best policy and do the best you can do."
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