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Snapshot: John Heigel

Published: February 09, 2018 at 12:00 am

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John Heigel is this week's Snapshot profile.
John Heigel is this week's Snapshot profile.
Occupation: I'm retired. I worked in manufacturing and was a shipping foreman at Carpenter Steel in Bridgeport. Also, I was a shipping manager for a small company in Watertown called Engineered Sinterings and Plastics for 19 years.

Family: As of this past year, my wife Pat and I have been married for 50 years. We had met two years before on a blind date. There was just something about Pat, that when I met her I knew she was the one. We have four children and they live in various parts of the country. The oldest is Patrick, who is a tile contractor in Newtown and is currently with his wife, Angelica, in Mexico; Lisa is a teacher and lives in Colorado; Eric is a lieutenant colonel in the military and is currently living in California; and Josh and his family recently built a house in Florida that they moved into.

Pets: We had a dog Sammy, who was like a child to my wife, but we have not gotten another pet since.

How long have you lived in Newtown? Almost 45 years. We had been looking to move out of Bridgeport to a more rural area when we saw the lot here and bought it. We had the house built starting in October and were moved in by February. When we first moved in, each night when I'd come home from work I'd take 15 wheel barrels of dirt, rake it out, and plant the grass.

What do you like to do in your free time? Mostly work around the house and garden. Right after Christmas I get the catalogs to see what seeds I want to buy. Last year I planted tomatillos for the first time and also rainbow carrots - which were white, orange, yellow, and some red - that were pretty successful. I like to plant flowers, too, to see the blooms and the butterflies and hummingbirds.

Do you have a favorite author? I like James Patterson, Alex Cross, and David Baldacci books. I also like to read about Theodore Roosevelt. He was a really interesting person.

What is your favorite travel destination? Visiting our children's houses. We've been to Colorado a number of times; and Florida; and we hope to visit California.

What is the best part about Newtown? It's still got that rural character. When we had moved here it was all farms. Also, I like that you can get pretty much anything you want here in Newtown.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My grandparents. They got me into gardening because I grew up on their farm and they had two gardens that I used to help them with. They did a lot of things the old way; originally, they didn't have a tractor and had a horse that did the bulk of the work.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My grandfather on my father's side. His named was Joseph, but people called him "Bo." He died when I was a baby. I would have liked to have met him.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Right now, my wife and I really like Ed Sheeran. We listen to his song "Perfect" all the time. We also listen to "Havana" by Camila Cabello.

Do you have a favorite TV show? I like the Alaskan shows and seeing how people live off the grid. I find it really interesting how the people are so resourceful.

What is your favorite food? There's nothing I dislike. I really like ribs, pastries, and sweets.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? "Believe half you see and nothing you read." My father told me that. It's not always true, but it was his philosophy.

What is your proudest accomplishment? My four children and getting to see them all with their families. Also, getting to be 75 years old is a proud accomplishment.

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