Chat Room: Patti Clevenger

Patti Clevenger

Patti Clevenger

Name: Patti Clevenger

Age: Almost 53 (Sunday, March 30)


Children: “No children, but I have had thousands vicariously.

Occupation: Eighth grade technology teacher at Maryville Middle School and volunteer with Foothills Fall Festival as Children’s Adventure Land coordinator.

What was your first paying job?

“I first worked at my dad’s NAPA store, Automotive Parts and Equipment Company, in Chattanooga. I was paid $25 each quarter. He wanted me to get my quarters in for Social Security. I ran the tickets, kept up with inventory and ordered the parts.”

If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?

“Travel. I would go on every mission trip my minister takes and travel to all the states of the U.S. that I have not visited. I would throw in Scotland and Ireland.”

What’s your favorite television or movie quote?

“I have two. From Ice Age, after Manny saves Diego, Manny said, ‘That is what you do in a tribe, you take care of each other.’ From Gone with the Wind when Scarlett says, ‘I’ll worry about that tomorrow.’”

What are you guilty of?

“Buying too many shoes. My friends will tell you I have over 350 pairs.”

What is your passion?

“People and making memories.”

What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?


What is your favorite material possession?

“My friends would say my little red sports car, but I am sentimental so my mom’s engagement ring and the grandfather clock and secretary my dad built.”

What are you reading currently?

“‘The Preacher and the Presidents’ which is about Billy Graham and the Presidents and ‘The Devil’s Bones’ by Jefferson Bass. And, I must confess, Janet Evanovich’s ‘Naughty Neighbor.’”

Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?

“Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement.”

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?

“I called some friends and asked them. They said ‘energetic’ and ‘accomplished’ because I can’t say no and am always willing to try new things.”

When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“An astronaut.”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

“I would be a morning person.”

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?

“My dad, who died June 30, 1975.”

What do you hate?

“Prejudice and lack of concern for others.”

What is your all-time favorite movie?

“I have three: ‘PollyAnna,’ ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Pretty Woman.’”

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

Would you travel in space?

“Yes. I have always wanted to go into space. As some of my former students know, I applied to be the teacher in space on the Challenger. I tell my students that one day they will get a letter asking for donations to buy me a seat to take a trip in space. ”

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?

“I would go back to 1939 to see my parents as children. I would want to go to Cleveland, Tenn., to see what my dad’s life was like and Maryville to check out my mom’s childhood.”

What is the best present you ever received in a box?

“My Chatty Cathy doll. I still have her, but she doesn’t talk anymore.”

What is the best advice your mother/father ever gave you?

“Mom: Life is too short. Dad: A blessing of painful experiences is that you learn to better appreciate the beautiful things in life.”

Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?

“Yes. In first grade Norman told the teacher that I put a piece of crumpled paper in my desk instead of the trash can.”

Who is your hero?

“Wally Schirra, one of the Mercury 7 astronauts. I read autobiography about all the things he did. He attended Annapolis Naval Academy and one of his classmates lives in Maryville and that’s how I learned more about him.”

What was your first car?

“A 1965 Dodge Dart Station Wagon. It had been my dad’s delivery vehicle. I slung a rod through the engine at 100,000 miles. I did it in front of the scrap metal yard in Chattanooga, so we didn’t have to pay a tow bill.”

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

“Half-full, of course, waiting for us to fill it the rest of the way.”

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