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ID: Michael Hooker



Laste modified: Friday, January 17, 2014
Michael Hooker is originally from downstate New York, but says that after living in various places around the country, he and his wife, Jeanne, abandoned overpriced Boston for the “Happy Valley.” His wife was pregnant at the time, and they moved out here without jobs, a move he says was risky, but paid off with two “organically grown” children, a successful law practice that employs four women, and the best eight-piece dance rock band in the Valley. Hooker says he lives in the “best small town in the country.”



Full name: Michael Donald Hooker

People know you as: Mike, Michael, Hook de la Hook, Mikey-­Oh, Hooker

Date and place of birth: May 2, 1958, Port Jefferson, N.Y.

Address: Florence

Job: Law firm of Attorney Michael Hooker, Northampton. Elder law specialty

Who lives under the same roof as you? My wife of 35 years, Jeanne Schubmehl, my son, Jake, and our cat, Princess

Children: Jake Hooker, 19, and Kathleen Drummond, 23

Education: Bachelor’s degree in history, 1978, from the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y., and a law degree, 1985, Suffolk Law School, Boston

Hobbies: Live music, photography, front man and bass player of dance rock band The Mike Hooker Experience, films, road cycling, tennis, downhill skiing, road trips. Basically the outdoors

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. That’ll give you the wisdom of the ages

Favorite movie/TVshow/musical group: Movie — “Chinatown”; TV — “House of Cards”; musical group — Steely Dan

Five items you can’t live without: Bicycle, iPhone, baseball hat, wedding band, eyeglasses

Last thing you purchased just for fun: Six-pack of “Out of Bounds” Stout, Boulder, Colo. Great label — skier on the edge of a cliff

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Life-­changing experience: An off-campus party Dec. 2, 1978. University of Buffalo. Met my wife there. I met Jeanne and blathered on until I realized I should shut up and try to kiss her. It worked. Magical moment in time

Strangest job you ever held: Sold beers at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, Buffalo, for the Buffalo Bills. My New York accent amused the fans: “Cold Beah heah!”

A little ­known fact about you: As a kid I was a pogo stick nut, doing thousands of pogos at a clip, often wearing down the rubber tip and sending to the company for more. Perhaps that explains my vertigo

Dumbest thing you ever did: In a parking lot in Iowa corn country stuck my head out the window of my ’72 VW bug while Jeanne drove in circles to see if the weird sounds were a car-related malfunction or crickets

One trend you’d like to see return: Kids playing street games such as kick the can, spud, and ring and run

What really sets you off? Three-prong table forks and drivers pulling away from the curb without signaling

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Mick Jagger in 1960s Picadilly Circus, London. It doesn’t get any better than that

Best/worst advice you ever got? Best: Go into solo practice as a lawyer. Worst: Set up a practice in Athol

Favorite place to get a bite? A sidewalk table at Mama Iguana’s across from the Academy of Music in Northampton. Great people watching. In my next life I will be a boulevardier

Favorite team: Patriots. I get to witness one of the greatest quarterbacks in history along with one of the greatest coaches in history

What does your ideal weekend look like? Summertime. Saturday: 25-mile bike ride with my wife from Florence to the surrounding hills. Pack a lunch from Coopers Corner in Florence. Eat by a stream. Take a swim somewhere. Happy hour: drink craft beer. Sunday: repeat

One thing you would change about yourself: Take it down a notch and learn to relax

What gives you the creeps? Toupees and comb overs. I use the modern version: baseball hat

People who knew you in high school thought you were: Smart, fun and 10 years old

Whom do you most admire? People who can do it all: Work. Goof off. Contribute to society. Tend to their families. Because that is what it’s all about

Parting shot: Good things in life don’t happen by themselves. You have to put in the effort



— Compiled by Brenda Nelson



To suggest someone for ID, send an email to bnelson@gazettenet.com.