September 2004

What will you be doing when you’re 82 years old?

When I pretend for a moment that I’m that age, it’s hard for me to imagine what I’ll be doing (though I am fairly confident I won’t be writing this column). I suppose most days would consist of waking up at the crack of 10:30 a.m., making coffee (decaf, of course), taking my meds and watching Bob Barker, who would be 130, welcoming another contestant who “came on down” to bid on “The Price is Right.”

All kidding aside, retirement is like the paydirt that we’re all driving 50 or so years down the field to reach. Cross the goal line, and we celebrate the reality that we can finally do what we want, when we want to do it. Some people, however, never want to get off the field; they want to keep playing until the Coach tells them it’s time to leave.

Bette Boise is one of these people. She’s 82 years old and wants to do little else except what she’s been doing for the past 30 years — visit superintendents in central New York and tout the virtues of whatever equipment line she’s representing.

As you read her story in this issue of Superintendent’s Profile, I hope you, too, will come to admire (and perhaps even be envious as I am) of not only her quick wit and candor but also her immutable passion and respect for this industry.

Bette loves what she does for a living, and for her no retirement could ever be as relaxing and self-fulfilling as her visits with you and her time with her colleagues, people whom she considers to be extended family.

We’re bombarded daily with sensational stories in the national media about so-called regular people. To have your story told, though, it seems you have to be a jury member for a big trial or be the parents of quintuplets or other not so regular things.

Bette’s story is different and refreshing because it inspires in a close-to-home way. Whether we want to admit it or not, work is a major part of our lives; after all, we spent most of our waking hours each week earning a paycheck. So reading about someone who loves her job can remind us how fortunate we are if we do love our work. Or tell us that if we do not, we should strive to find something to do that we care about. P

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.