Name: Bonny Millard
Marital status: single
Occupation: Executive director of Blount Education Initiative
What was your first paying job?
“I babysat, but my first actual job was at the Pizza Inn where the Subway is now.”
If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you take?
“My four animals: Velvet, Nikki, Cody and Calli.
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“I would go to Africa to the safaris like in Kenya.”
What task or activity have you still not gotten around to doing?
“Cleaning my house.”
What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“You have to live the life you were born to live.”
What are you guilty of?
“Impatience. That’s the only one I’m going to admit to.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“Get my novel published. I’ve written two. They’re both mainstream novels, the first is ‘Trees with Deeper Roots’ and the second is ‘Southern Yard Art.’ ”
Do you think there is life on other planets?
“Probably. Capt. Kirk always said there was. ”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My grandfather’s hand-carved circus wagons.”
What are you reading currently?
“Divining Women” by Kaye Gibbons.
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“I think Winston Churchill. He changed the course of the world by standing up to the Nazis.”
Why did you pursue the career you chose?
“I’ve followed many career paths in my life. The one factor always involved in any of my careers is they were areas where I could help people. Everything I’ve done, all the positions I’ve held, have been to help people. I get that from my mother.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Loyal. I stand behind people.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“At 5, I don’t remember, but when I was an early teen, I wanted to go to Africa and study animals or be a novelist. One of those things I’ve done, I’ve just not gotten paid for it. I was influenced by Dian Fossey, they made a movie about her, ‘Gorillas in the Mist.’ ”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would become a morning person. It’s hard being a night owl in a day world. It really is.”
What is your passion?
“Writing and animals and, of course, education.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My grandparents, Bruce and Bernice Miller. If they weren’t available, Jimmy Buffet.”
What do you hate?
“I hate the behaviors of lying, rudeness and of people who think they’re better than others.”
What’s your favorite quote?
‘“Storms make trees take deeper roots,’ and something my grandmother told me, ‘No one has the right to steal your joy.’”
What is your dream vacation?
“Going to Africa.”
Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?
“I pull for them all.”
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“ ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Dr. Zhivago.’ ”
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
“There are several. ‘Early From The Dance,’ by David Payne; ‘The Civil Wars of Jonah Moran,’ by Marjorie Reynolds; ‘The Secret Life of Bees,’ by Sue Monk Kidd and ‘The Prince of Tides,’ by Pat Conroy.”
Would you travel in space?
“Probably not. I admire those who do, but I’m not sure I would want to, although I would love to see the earth from space.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“The early to mid- 1940s. I’ve always been intrigued by World War II and that time period that immediately followed when the U.S. was really beginning to come into its own - particularly women.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“I always liked Nancy Drew growing up. She was always self-reliant, independent and intelligent, and she had good friends.”
What is your favorite sport and favorite sport’s team?
“All forms of football, college, pro and arena, and even European and the Vols and the Colts.”
What is the best present you ever received?
“My father helped me finance a four week trip to England with my grandparents when I was 25, and it was the last time I would spend with them together.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“This too shall pass.”