Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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ID: James J. Keefe

  • James Keefe of Florence.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • James Keefe of Florence.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

As the Wing Commander of the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Colonel Jim Keefe of Northampton has flown a variety of aircraft, including the F-16, A-10, 747 and 777. His unit, which flies F-15C fighters, is responsible for providing full-time alert fighter coverage for the entire Northeast United States. On Sunday, Keefe will lead a different kind of contingent: He’ll serve as Northampton’s parade marshal for the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He follows in the footsteps of his father, George Keefe, who served as marshal for the Northampton group in 1994.

Full name: James Joseph Keefe

People know you as: Keefer to my Hamp friends, Cobra to my Barnes friends, Dad to my kids

Date and place of birth: May 1965, Northampton

Address: Florence

Who lives under the same roof as you? My wife, Yvonne; my son, Liam; and my daughter, Caitlin

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Norwich University, Vt.; master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, U.S. Naval War College, R.I.

Pets: My dogs, Vicki and Griffin

Hobbies: Coaching girls youth basketball and lacrosse, golfing, riding any motorcycle

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Diplomacy” by Henry Kissinger

Favorite TV show: “Walking Dead”

Four items you can’t live without: My family, coffee, pizza (Roberto’s is my first choice), Cape Cod

Last thing you purchased just for fun: A 20-foot, 1974 Flying Scot sailboat

What’s the top of your bucket list? Drive a race car at a NASCAR race. I love speed

Life-changing experience: Flying A-10 combat missions over Iraq in 2003 during the opening day of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Strangest job you ever held: Picking tobacco in Hatfield as a kid. The huge tobacco worms freaked me out!

Your current Facebook status: I have not updated my Facebook in about six months. I think I might be getting rid of it

A little known fact about you: Although I don’t like the performing arts, I had the leading role in 1976 as George Washington in the play “Let George Do It,” when I attended Jackson Street School

Dumbest thing you ever did: Drive through a hurricane to get back to school — stupid!

One trend you’d like to see return: A government that can live within its means

What really sets you off: Laziness; people who take, but never give; and people who cut lines

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Abraham Lincoln, during the last year of the Civil War — I’d like to learn how he held the country together during those challenging years

Best advice you ever got: Work hard and you will make your own opportunities

Favorite team: University of Massachusetts men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. They are both local teams that consistently compete at a high level with outstanding success

What does your ideal weekend look like? Early motorcycle ride with my wife; breakfast at Outlook Farm in Westhampton; throw the lacrosse ball around with my kids; hang out around our pool; go to Roberto’s for pizza

One thing you would change about yourself: I’d like to be less critical of myself

What gives you the creeps? Open high places, even though I’m a pilot

People who knew you in high school thought you were: Outgoing and loyal

Whom do you admire? My mom and dad. They gave me a solid foundation of values

Parting shot: Have a plan and goals for life. ... It’s too short to let it slip by

Editor’s Note - To suggest someone for ID, email Keri-Ann Aubin at kaubin@gazettenet.com.

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