Married to: Chris Sweitzer, and they have one son, Elijah, age 3.
Occupation: Hair stylist/artist
Laura Riddick-Sweitzer is a hair stylist and painter, having started painting about five years ago. “I do murals in people’s homes and businesses and just recently started doing the Last Friday Art Walk.”
Art often helps sooth the mind and spirit, says Sweitzer. “Besides it being therapeutic, when you are painting, you don’t think about anything else,” she says.
Here is Laura Riddick-Sweitzer:
What was your first paying job?
“My first paying job was at Whittle Communications. I worked on an assembly line, packing care packages to be sent to college students.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“I would want my family and close friends, all of us, to go somewhere tropical like Hawaii. I would love for everyone to relax and laugh together, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”
What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“From ‘Dumb and Dumber:’ ‘So your telling me there is a chance?’”
What are you guilty of?
“I am guilty of being to sensitive...but then again I’m not sure that’s so bad. My loving and supportive parents get the credit for teaching me to have a loving heart. Maybe that’s just how I am made up.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“Racing 200 m.p.h. at the Daytona 500. What an adrenalin rush!”
What is your favorite material possession?
“A note my dad wrote me. I love him with all my heart. He taught me that even in quiet time, without a lot of spoken words, we have a silent bond.”
What are you reading currently?
“Kahlil Gibran’s book ‘The Prophet.’ Thanks to a very wise and kind man, this book has been very inspirational for me.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“There are so many people who were influential and inspirational in the 20th Century. Since I have a passion for art and literature, I would have to say Kahlil Gibran is my choice.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“My most embarrassing moment was my first and last job waiting tables. It was during my early 20s. I went back to the table and asked if I could get them anything else. The man said, under his breath, ‘Yeah, a new waitress.’”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“My friends describe me as creative. For the longest time my family and friends have told me I have a talent working with my hands. I love the creative side of me.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Being able to minimize analyzing people and events in my life. I’m not a judgmental person but sometimes I second-guess my instincts.”
What is your passion?
“My passion is listening to music as I paint on canvas. I love music and sometimes the two, for me, can produce very beautiful and deep feelings through my paintings.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My grandparents on both sides of my family and Teresa D.C. Cathcart. They’ve all passed, and I just miss them.”
What do you hate?
“I don’t like the word hate, so I will say I strongly dislike fake and uncaring people.”
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“My all time favorite movie is ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’ Its so funny, the sweet part of that instance of telling someone how you feel. It’s sweet and funny at the same time.”
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
“The best book I have ever read tells the story of the Atlanta hostage hero Ashley Smith with Stacy Mattingly titled ‘Unlikely Angel.’ “
Would you travel in space?
“I would like to travel in space, however, I am not crazy about the ride getting there.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I would love to visit the Cades Cove area during the Pioneer Era. The land is so beautiful and peaceful.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I wanted to be a vet. I just liked animals.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was jus the intense action and the anticipation.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“The best advice my mother has given me is to be true to myself, and less is more.”
Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“Yes, during science class in high school. I forgot my book. The teacher gave me a choice of taking a zero or paddling, I chose the zero. When I got home my dad, a retired school teacher, made me go back the next day and take the paddling to remove the zero from my grades.”
Who is your hero?
“My father, Jim Riddick, is my hero. No matter what, he supports me with unconditional love.”
What was your first car?
“A 1967 VW Beetle. It was maroon. It was like a little toy car, a go-cart.”
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“Always half full. I think its naturally like that because I try to see the good in people and things. I look at things in a realistic way, too.”