Getting to Know... Richard Mark Purdy

Age: 59

Lives: In the best apartment in the Borough of Gettysburg, on West Middle Street above the law office of Phillips and Phillips. I boast about it in tribute to our landlords, Jack and Bobbie.

From where originally: Born at Fort Belvoir, Va.; completed elementary school in Columbus, Ohio; moved to Gettysburg at the age of 12.

Educated at: Gettysburg High School ('74), graduated from a now-defunct broadcasting school in Washington, D.C., and HACC.

Family: Wife of 34 years and recently-retired schoolteacher Sharon; three tremendous daughters: Jill (Philadelphia), Amie (Fairfax, Va.), Clare (Phoenix, Ariz.).

Job: I've worked at ACNB Bank for just over 20 years.

Job's reward: We remain a true community-based bank. People really do appreciate that.

What I hate about my job: When the theme is money, there's not much room for levity.

Very first job was: Wallpaper hanger for Tom Collins. I never actually hung any paper. My job was to mix up and slap on the paste. No experience necessary.

Favorite food: I like just about anything, but nothing better than a big plate of whole wheat pasta marinara, along with a large garden salad featuring a real summer tomato and Newman's Own olive oil and vinegar dressing. I always eat the pasta first, the salad last. This time of year, I might start off with a nice farmhouse ale.

Pets: None at present. I'd really like to have a dog. I'd like to go out to the SPCA and tell them to just go back there and bring one out for me. I know I could never choose.

Hero: Guess I'd have to say my mom and dad. They are both retired teachers in the Gettysburg School System. Seldom does a week go by when no one asks how they're doing or tells me that one of them was their favorite teacher in school. There will never be paycheck to equal that.

Hobbies: Running has definitely become a thing for me - I try to do about 15-20 miles a week, year 'round. I also like music, reading, still do a little announcing and emcee work when they can't find anyone else. I try and stay active in the community. I'm also a lifelong, diehard, season-ticket-holding Philadelphia Phillies fan.

Pet peeves: For some reason, I just can't bear to stand in line for something. I'd rather go sit down and wait somewhere until things thin out. There always seems to be enough for everyone, whatever it is.

Collects: Great-tasting, new and interesting, sometimes-regional craft beers. Actually, I just rent them.

Best friend: Would have to be Mike Lilley. We go back to 7th grade and Pop Warner football. A year ago last May, my daughter Clare was maid of honor at Mike's daughter Raeanna's wedding. That was special.

Would like to have witnessed what event in history: The final out of the 1980 World Series.

Event that changed your life: Having children, of course. More recently, I will say completing the American Odyssey 200 Mile Relay in 2013. It was during those two days that I became acquainted with the guys who I knew could make the Beer Runners idea take off. Since that time, I've met an astounding number of truly wonderful people and made a whole bunch of great friends while improving my life and health in the process. The best part is that this ridiculously simple concept seems to have had a similar effect on quite a few others, as well. I think I can speak for the group in saying we are continually amazed. (Gettysburg Beer Runners meets on Wednesdays. Walkers at 6 p.m., runners at 6:30 p.m. Location and routes are posted at

Your scariest moment: When she was six years old, our daughter Amie came within inches of being struck by a car on Baltimore Street. Still frightens me to think about it.

Your first memory: What I definitely recall is the television being on at someone else's home and my mother saying something like "look at poor Nixon" and my father responding with something considerably less consolatory. Had to have been the1960 presidential inauguration ceremony.

Trait inherited from parents: A commitment to family.

Piece of advice that you live by: Highlighted this one many years ago, the very first time I read James Joyce's great story, "The Dead:" Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.

Who needs a hug? Every last one of us, sooner or later.

Favorite reading/author: Anne Tyler, Richard Russo, Jonathan Franzen, Barbara Kingsolver, John D. MacDonald, Colm Toibin. But there's still nothing like opening the mailbox and finding the new Rolling Stone or Sports Illustrated in there.

Favorite spot on earth: Difficult to choose just one but it's hard to beat an early morning run, before the rest of world is up and moving, right here at home, borough or battlefield.

Website you visit most:

Would like concert tickets to see: U2, Allison Krauss, R.E.M. (if they ever reunite). I've seen Bruce Springsteen multiple times but would certainly pay to see him again. Jackson Browne, too. And Jalopy Deluxe, of course.

One bad habit: I have a hard time saying no, so I tend to get over-extended. (There are others.)

3 items on your bucket list: Run at least one more marathon, consume a draft pint of Russian River Pliny The Younger Imperial IPA, one more visit to Ireland.

Five minutes with: Jesus of Nazareth. Since we've only got five minutes, I'd humbly ask him to give it to me straight. No parables.

What skill or lesson would you like to learn? Wish I could play the piano - it's the key to really understanding music.

What would people find surprising about you? I am much more introvert than extrovert.

What would make this world a better place? As Atticus advised young Jean Louise, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

What is the best piece of news you received lately that you would like to share? My daughter Jill and I were both chosen in the lottery for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia in May. Almost everyone gets in, so it's no big deal, but we always exchange texts on the announcement day in February. "Are you in?" We start looking forward to it as soon as the Christmas holidays are over. It's a great day.

How would you like to be remembered? As someone who tried his best to do unto others as he would have them do unto him.

- By Alex J. Hayes,

Times Managing Editor

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