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ID: Richard W. Tracy

  • Richard William Tracy for Hamp ID
  • <br/>Richard William Tracy for Hamp ID

Richard Tracy has lived on Intervale Farm in Westhampton all his life. He and his wife, Janice, operated the dairy farm until 1980, when his son Richard I. Tracy and daughter-in-law Maureen Dempsey took over as vegetable growers. After that, Richard served as the town’s highway superintendent and, later, its fire chief. Now that he’s mostly retired (he’s still a justice of the peace, a position he’s held for 20 years), he has joined his nephew Tom Jenkins in a new venture.

Full name: Richard W. Tracy

People know you as: Outside of Westhampton: Dick; in Westhampton: Bill

Date and place of birth: August 18, 1938 in Ware

Address: Westhampton

Job: I’ve always been a farmer; I retired after 20 years as Westhampton’s highway superintendent and 13 years as fire chief. Now I’m the co-owner of Westhampton Forest Products LLC, a new company that makes construction-grade stakes, and will hopefully operate a sawmill.

Who lives under the same roof as you? My wife of 55 years, Janice

Children: Richard I., Nathan, Jennifer and Susannah. All grown and successfully on their own

Education: Westhampton Center School, Northampton High School and Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hobbies: I collect everything

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Favorite movie: “Lincoln”

Something you can’t live without: Food, friends and love. Nothing else matters

Last thing you purchased just for fun: A tree-climbing belt

What’s on the top of your bucket list? Just finished one, as we have recently returned from seeing Machu Picchu in Peru. Next one, get the sawmill running

Life-changing experience: Getting married 55 years ago

Strangest job you ever held: Working the pari-mutuel windows at the Three County Fair in Northampton. You don’t want to do it

A little-known fact about you: I can levitate birds and flies

Dumbest thing you ever did: Urinate on an electric fence

One trend you’d like to see return: Banks that really care about their customers

What really sets you off? Why in God’s name can’t I buy a half-gallon of ice cream or a 6-ounce can of tuna fish, or evaported milk or a half-gallon of orange juice? This makes me angry! And they use the same or higher prices

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Jesus — He has it figured out

Best advice you ever got: If you blow your own horn, you have to stay on the small end

Favorite place to get a bite? Friendly’s — It is consistent, and I love ice cream

Your favorite team? Boston Red Sox — it’s habit, I guess. I also like the Hampshire Regional High School teams

What does your ideal weekend look like? I can’t remember

One thing you would change about yourself: I would speak different languages, and I would play musical instruments

What gives you the creeps? John Boehner and Mitch McConnell — just look at them

People who knew you in high school thought you were: A shy country boy

Whom do you admire? Abraham Lincoln because of his drive to do what was right and his ability to do the right thing in spite of all obstacles

Parting shot: The real purpose of our existence is not to make a living, but to make a life — a worthy, well-rounded, useful life

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