Personalities Plus — Floren Thompson

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
“Relaxing and activities with wife and family.”

What did you think about on Sept. 11?
“At first I was in total shock. Then my heart broke and I started crying for all those directly affected. I then began praying for them and our country.”

Tell us about your pet(s):
“I purchased Panda, a Siberian Husky in 1989 about three weeks after my mother died. She was 13 years old and died last summer, three weeks after my father died. It was really hard to lose her after so many years.”

What is your theme song?
“Amazing Grace.”

What is your fondest memory of Portales?
“Returning to my home town to teach the Portales High Ram Band. I graduated from PHS in 1962, and was a member of this band as a student.”

Who’s invited to your fantasy dinner party, and why?
“Jesus Christ, because he is my savior and hero.”

What do you think about Portales?
“I love it because it is comfortable like an old shoe and the people are great.”

What’s your favorite TV show, past and present?
“ ‘Nash Bridges.’ ”

Who is your favorite entertainer?
“Bob Hope and Julia Roberts.”

What’s so great about your favorite sport?
“Football is my favorite sport because the bands march at the half times.”

Tell us about a time you cried:
“Our first son was stillborn in 1972, and in 1973 my best friend died in a hunting accident. Sept. 11, 2001, made me cry too.”

Tell us about a happy time:
“When our first set of twins were born, and when our second set of twins were born.”

What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I was conducting a band concert and right in the middle of a composition when I turned a page in the score, out fell a Playboy Pull-out which my students had put in it. This caused me to really get rattled, and in the confusion I stabbed myself in the forehead with my baton and was bleeding. I guess I handled things OK because most of the audience did not realize anything had happened.”

Tell us a story about your childhood:
“I remember spending a lot of time in the hallway in grade school.”

Tell us a story about your mom or dad:
“My parents were Mary and Floren Thompson Jr. There is not enough room to tell their story here, but fortunately many of you knew both of them and what they meant to this community.”

What do you envision your life being like in 10 years?
“Great because both of us will be retired.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult?
“I thought that I would be a band director.”

If money were no object, what would you do to make the world a better place?
“Feed the hungry, clothe the needy, build homes for the homeless, give medical aid to the sick or injured. BUT — teach them and create jobs so they could become self-sufficient and maintain self-esteem.”

Who is your hero and why?
“Jesus Christ — he is my Savior.”

Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment:
“The times my students did well. I had two sweepstakes bands, one of them was Portales High School.”

If I could do anything, I would . . .
“See Broadway musicals.”

What is your greatest fear?
“Running out of oxygen.”

What is your greatest hope?
“That Carolyn and I will be able to enjoy retirement together in a few years.”

What is your favorite taste?
“Prime rib and orange.”

What is your favorite smell?
“Food cooking on a barbecue grill.”

Tell us about a time you were afraid:
“While hunting in the mountains in Alaska I got too close to a grizzly bear.”

Tell us about your first date:
“About 1958 I invited Linda Ussary to attend the Sweetheart Banquet at the Methodist Church here in Portales.”

Tell us how you met your spouse:
“In band in College at Eastern New Mexico University. She was a freshman and I was a senior. I asked her to marry me on our fifth date.”

What is your most prized possession?
“The love of my family and everything that God has provided, which is everything.”
— Compiled by Loretta Kos