The Interview: Dick Ford

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Briefly describe yourself and what you do/did.
I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. I graduated from FSU with a B.S and M.S in criminology. I have worked as a probation officer with the Florida division of youth services, taught criminal justice in college for five years and worked as a mortgage broker for 23 years. My wife and I have owned the Huddle House for 22 years. I moved to Newnan in 1978 and to Moreland in 2001.I have served on the Moreland town council for eleven years and am currently in my second term as mayor. I am married to Pam and we have four children. She is also my business partner and caregiver when I had my heart transplant 12 years ago.

Best piece of business advice you’ve received.
The best piece of business advice received was always pay your taxes first.

If I had it to do over …
If I had it to do over, I might have gone in the medical field.

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?
On my trip I would not take albums but a variety of music from Ray Charles to Simon and Garfunkel to Willie Nelson to John Legend. I would take three of Lewis Grizzard’s books that I haven’t read. He would be my age if he had lived so I always related to what he wrote. Humor also helps me relax on trips.

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know.
Most people don’t know I’m a Stephen’s minister. It was a five month class taught at First Methodist Church. It is designed to help people in need.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why.
I could name famous people who would be very interesting, but I think I would invite the guys in my coffee club that meet with me every Tuesday afternoon. We discuss politics, religion, family issues and news of the day. If we could just get people to listen, I’m sure we could solve a lot of the world’s problems.

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream.
I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. Next year I think I’ll finally go.

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …
If I weren’t doing what I’m doing, I’d be retired.

Your go-to food.
My go to food is pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives and a beer.

Favorite movies(s) …
Favorite movies are The Godfather, Platoon, and Ten Commandment. Little violence in each one.

Dogs or cats?
I love cats and dogs but only have cats. We can take trips and just have someone check on them every two or three days. Plus I don’t have to walk them when it’s cold or rainy.

Your favorite quote and why
My favorite quote: Life is short, enjoy every day.

Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.
I am currently the president of Team Georgia, Transplant Games. The transplant games are held in different U.S cities in even years and world games are held in different countries in odd years. Our games are much like the Olympics with all types of sports. It is for anyone who has had a solid organ transplant, bone marrow transplant or cornea transplant. We compete by ten year age groups. Donors are also eligible to compete in a separate category. I have competed in five U.S games and 2 world games. I run the sprints and play doubles tennis. The games are designed to promote organ donation. In cities that have hosted the games, there is always a huge uptick in organ donation. We never have enough donors. Twenty people die everyday waiting on an organ. I was one of the lucky ones.

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own?
I would tell myself to slow down a little before making decisions. Poor choices can last a lifetime.

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