Ten Questions: Awesome Answers
The best replies to our Q & As

Every month since the first issue, we’ve asked one person to answer ten questions. And every now and then, someone gave an answer that stayed with us. It was a moment of genius and enlightenment that magically jumped from the interview onto the page. Here are some of those significant answers.


val 1April2013TenQVal Traore

Doing More: When the Food Bank of South Jersey was feeding 100,000, Val Traore decided that wasn’t enough
April 2013

When you set out to develop more programs, the recession was in full swing. Did you worry you wouldn’t have enough donations to maintain the new programs?
…I remember my first fundraising project in 2006. I was blown away by the response from the South Jersey people. Since that time in 2006 up to right now, South Jersey has not forsaken us. They have consistently supported us for the things we wanted to do for those in need. I’ve kind of been living off of that for the past seven years – if it’s something good for the people, South Jersey people will support us. They’ve been doing that for years. I should have been fearful, but I wasn’t.



Garrett Reisman

Floating with the Stars: A real-life astronaut describes his new space mission
December 2011

What was the coolest part of walking in space?
The view, definitely. It’s amazing. It’s a strange combination of the familiar and the outlandish. There are times when it feels very comfortable when you’re at your worksite using your tools, because it’s just like in training. But when you look over your shoulder, you see the entire East Coast of the United States flying by in minutes. That’s completely different than anything you’ve ever experienced in your life.



terry JAN2014TenQ

Terry Ruggles

The Lovable Terry Ruggles: Life After TV News
January 2014

Was there someone who was an especially difficult interview?
I was interviewing Cardinal Krol, and he jumped down my throat and said I was the most unprofessional journalist he had ever met. I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I had asked him how you shoot the bull with the pope. It was in 1979, and it had been announced that the pope was coming to Philadelphia. There was a last-minute news conference at 4 in the afternoon, and we’re all packed into the archdiocese headquarters. I always try the baseline questions – what does it mean to the lady in her kitchen watching TV. Cardinal Krol was Polish, Pope John Paul II was Polish, and they had served at the College of Cardinals together as fellow Poles, so I wondered, how do you let your hair down with the guy who used to be your friend but now’s the pope? We ended up not talking for four years.



Marine Corporal Chris Cunningham

Coming Home: A local marine returns from Iraq
July 2008

Was the experience what you expected?
It was nothing like what I expected. You really can’t assume or expect anything when it comes to being in a combat zone. It’s a different feeling and one that nobody is used to. You have to always look over your shoulder. You’re in danger 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when you sleep, you always have one eye open.




james-galanisJames Galanis

Training Superstars: Advice on parenting young athletes from the man who coached gold medalists
October 2013

Very few kids actually make it professionally. How should parents manage their expectations?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of kids over the years, and I’ve been lucky enough to produce three professional athletes. Those kids didn’t make it because of me. It wasn’t the school, the club or the coach. These kids had an obsession. They lived and breathed the game, and that’s why they went on to become professionals. You can’t build a professional soccer player. No coach can inject will into a kid. If your kid is not with a ball every spare minute of the day, he’s not going to be a professional. If you think your kid is going to become a professional by you buying a trainer, getting him into a good facility or buying him good equipment, you’re dreaming. Professionals are built when no one is watching.



Former Philadelphia Flyer Bernie Parent

From Hockey to Hugs – Flyers legend Bernie Parent has a new goal: happiness
August 2013

What was it like to play in the NHL Winter Classic after 34 years off the ice?
…I was scared because I love the people in Philly, and I wanted to do well. I only played five minutes, and the feeling I had when I skated off of the ice was the same feeling I had 40 years ago. If I had played it safe, I would have been on the sidelines waving to the crowd. There’s no way I would have had that feeling. Because I took the risk and faced the fear, I got the reward of feeling fantastic.



Professor Cindy Dell Clark

The Lost Art of Play: What happens when a generation forgets to go outside and play
March 2012

Why is play important?
…When they talk about how America is going to contribute to the global economy, one of the topics that always comes up is our creativity – our Steve Jobs, our technological innovations, our inventions here – which relies on individuals who don’t accept things the way they came but envision them another way. That is an ability that is central to what makes us tick – to be individuals who are free to have their own outlook on things. Play develops that ability.



sal june2013TenQSal Paolantonio

Some SalPal: The ESPN correspondent talks sports, politics and Uncle Bill’s Pancake House
July 2013

What was the toughest sports interview you’ve had to do?
That’s easy. 1997, NFL Draft, New York Jets, head coach Bill Parcells. I had to ask him about remarks Keyshawn Johnson made in his book criticizing his teammates, live on the air. Parcells didn’t want to talk about it, refused to answer the questions, including three follow-ups. It was very uncomfortable. And after I threw it back to Chris Berman at the anchor desk, Parcells cussed me out and threw me out of the Jets headquarters. We didn’t talk for years, but we finally mended fences. In February, as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, I voted for Parcells to be inducted into Canton. Great coach. Reminds me of my late father, Vito: all bluster, all heart.



Chaplain Major Charles Causey

The Messenger: Delivering the worst news to military families
March 2011

What’s it like to inform a family their loved one was killed?
No matter how many times you go, right before you ring the bell, you get a lump in your throat and realize you’re changing this family’s life. No matter how well you try to comfort the family with words that have some meaning, they don’t hear them. It’s like a bomb goes off in the house. It’s such a challenging time. What I’ve learned as a chaplain is, instead of trying to say too much, I just try to be there for them, cry with them, hold their hand, pray with them and just be a friend.




RianldiRichard Rinaldi

Getting Out of Egypt: A study-abroad program teaches some unexpected lessons
April 2011

What was it like in Egypt?
We were right across the bridge from where they were protesting in Tahrir Square [in Cairo], so day-to-day, we didn’t really know what was going to happen. One day, it was just a lot of sirens, a lot of sounds from far away. It ramped up, and when it reached its peak, we started hearing tear-gas cannons being fired. The city was covered in tear gas. Depending on which way the wind blew, you had to cover your face and eyes. We watched most of this from the top of a building about a block from us, so we were out of harm’s way. The curfews started about a week in, and that’s when I realized it would be impossible to live with those curfews. They started initially at 6 pm, then 4 pm, then 2 pm.



christie 3SJmagMary Pat Christie

Keeping it Normal: First Lady Mary Pat Christie on hockey try-outs and hurricane funds
May 2013

Why did you continue to work when you became First Lady?
…One of the reasons I work is to be an example for my children – not that it’s the only path to take – but it’s really been instructional for my children, not just my daughters, but my sons too. I’ve always been motivated to be happy and successful in my career regardless of what my husband may be focused on.




The late State Senator John Adler

An Inside Look: From rescuing turtles to waiting for Harry Potter, State Senator Adler tells all
April 2005

What types of requests do you get from your constituents?
It’s amazing the variety of requests my office will get. We get very sophisticated problems involving insurance issues or tax issues. Then we get very simple questions like: where should I go to buy a nice car? I once had a woman call me because a turtle was in her swimming pool and she wanted the DEP to come and get the turtle out of her pool. So you know what I did? I went over to her house myself, in the rain, and used her pool skimmer to scoop the turtle out of her pool and put it in the woods behind her house.



Kerry Fraser

Making the Calls: NHL ref Kerry Fraser leaves the ice after 30 years
June 2010

How do Flyers fans compare to other fans throughout the league?
They are very knowledgeable and their passion is unparalleled. It is really something special. They love the game, they understand the game. There were times when they let me know that they didn’t agree with a call I made, and that demonstrates their passion. I’ve seen them cheer their team and I’ve seen them boo their team when, on a power play, they didn’t think the team gave enough. They’re demanding, but they’re fair.




pontarelliDominic Pontarelli

Whatever It Takes: Loving someone with Alzheimer’s
June 2009

What are your days like now?
Theresa can’t walk, talk or feed herself. She is awake, but not aware, and she is completely dependent on others. A caregiver from Samaritan Hospice comes in the morning to get Theresa ready for the day. She brings her into the kitchen in a wheelchair, and I feed her breakfast. Then another caregiver comes to stay with her for a few hours. That’s when I go grocery shopping or to the gym. I go to the gym because I have high blood pressure, and I want to stay healthy so I can take care of Theresa. I also need to build my strength so I can transfer Theresa from her bed to her wheelchair.

When you think of the future, what do you hope for?
I hope she doesn’t outlive me. I want to be here to take care of her as long as she needs me. I am giving her the best care she can get. Her vital signs are good, she has only deteriorated mentally. She could live a long time. I love my wife. Whatever time she has left, I want to make sure she is comfortable – and with me.

March 2015
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