Meet a Westsider:
Russel Bechtold

Profession/Occupation... I’m a retired system designer and manager. Now I volunteer to help people with personal computer problems here in our retirement community.

What I like most about the Westside is... We moved here originally to help our daughter, and although our living here was sort of an accident, we are glad to be on the Westside! It’s less contentious. The people here have more of a tendency to look out for the whole community, rather than looking our for “ME.”

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... get rid of the wind! Actually, I’d like the rest of the city to be more like the Westside.

A good movie I’ve seen recently is... “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” with Brad Pitt. It was a different film in that the main character starts out as a senior and ages to an infant. It raises issues of how to respond to someone in that situation; how to deal with a parent, sibling or child who retrogresses.

I'd like to discover... a way to get our politicians to act as adults and have them think of the whole “community,” i.e. country, instead of just padding their egos.

If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... Abraham Lincoln. Here was a man who had all sorts of things go against him – lowly birth, lack of education and other issues – and he overcame them to lead our country at a critical time.

The next time I travel, I’m going... Sedona, Arizona; and Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.

My favorite childhood memory is... Each summer I got to visit a cousin. He was 1 ˝ years older than me. The time we spent at his home was memorable. There was a stream nearby and a big 10-acre field. I got to drive a Model A all around the field. We’d also go into Philadelphia by train with his dad, who worked there. We’d visit museums and ride the elevated trains.

My favorite winter pastime is... Actually, it’s year-round - the non-competive “Volkssporting,” which in German literally means “walk of the people.” My wife and I have walked in all 50 states and some foreign countries.

Something good I’ve read is... "Defending Jacob," by William Landay. The book is about a district attorney who suddenly finds his son accused of killing an 8th grade classmate. It's a very interesting story about the working (and non-working) of the court system and how the father and son deal with it

My pet peeve is... unsolicited phone calls from politicians and others. Let's face it, the "No Call List" is a farce.

If I won the lottery I’d... help out our kids, travel and help others who need support.

Meet a Westsider” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you would like to be a Meet-a-Westsider (or know someone who should be), please give us a call at 471-6776.