Personalities Plus — Connie Pugh

Connie Pugh is a second-grade teacher and also works at Southwest Books and Gifts.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
“It would bring all of my assigned children to class with homework done, no troubles on their mind and ready to learn. This would include having a pencil — a sharp one. We would accomplish all that I had planned with understanding and no one would get into trouble all day.”

What did you think after Sept. 11, 2001?
“I was devastated. I expressed to my children the importance of freedom and how blessed we were to be Americans. I attended the community prayer service. Patriotism was emphasized in my classroom throughout the school year.”

What’s the favorite part about your job?
“Since I have two jobs, I also have two favorite parts of those jobs. As a teacher, I love seeing kids light up when they learn something new and they know they have learned it. At my second job, I light up when I hear customers say, ‘I just love this store.’ ”

Tell us how you met your husband:
“I met John when I was a freshman in high school. One day I needed to visit with my English teacher after school. It began raining. Her son came to take her home and she offered me a ride. At the dinner table, I reported to my family that Mrs. Pugh’s son sure did drive fast. I had to do some fast talking when shortly after that conversation, John called to ask me out. We went to see ‘The Alamo’ with John Wayne. Six years later we were married.”

What do you see your life being
like 10 years from now?
“I envision myself as being retired from 30 years of teaching. I still will be making my semiannual trips to Dallas to buy gifts for the store. I will have rocked my grandchild to sleep, I will have taken a trip to the Bahamas and I still will be madly in love with my husband.”

What do you think is your greatest accomplishment?
“To have raised our daughter to be a productive, caring, independent adult. She worked her way through college, married and became a dedicated stepmother, and she and her husband own their own business. The bonus has been having her for my best friend.”

Who is your hero?
“My husband John. He loves God, his country and his family. He always has worked hard for all three.”

What is your greatest hope?
“To live to see my grandchildren grown.”

Tell us about your pets:
“I have two dogs and two cats. One came from the ball park, one from the Eastern New Mexico University campus, one was sent home with me from a dinner party and one I asked for. They are all spoiled rotten.”

What would you like to see on your gravestone?
“I would like printed, ‘She was a Christian mother and wife. She loved children.’ ”

Who would be invited to your fantasy dinner party?
“Bill O’Reilly and President Bush. The conversation would be very lively. I would listen as my family fired away with questions.”

Tell us about a time you cried:
“I can cry for almost any reason — a TV commercial, a new baby or hurt feelings, but the time that the tears hurt the worst was when I lost my father in 1972.”

Tell us about a happy time:
“When I learned I was pregnant. i had wanted to have three children by the time I was 20. I was almost 30 when I was finally blessed with my first and only child.”

What will happen for you in the next year?
“I hope to have sold my house and to have built my dream retirement home. I am ready; I just need a buyer.”

— Compiled by Loretta Kos