This month we are Spotlighting Founding Member Sue Manning. The interview is in a question and answer format:
Where were you born? St. Louis, Missouri
Where did you spend your childhood years?
Up to the age of 10, my childhood was somewhat idyllic in St. Louis. I remember catching fireflies in the summer and sledding down our street in the winter. Things changed when my parents, sister, brother and I moved to San Francisco; some good, some not so good. But I'm happy I'm an almost-native San Franciscan, and St. Louis is a great town to visit!
Where did you graduate from High School?
Lincoln High School in the Sunset District of San Francisco.
Did you go to college and if so where and what was your major?
I took classes that interested me at San Francisco State College, at San Francisco City College and at University of California Extension in SF. I tried going the route of a regular college student, but when the Psych 101 teacher stood at the front of the class, twiddlling or twitching his fingers right below his lower lip, I decided I couldn't sit there and watch. I took writing classes, real estate classes (which had to do with my concurrent job) and watercolor classes.
How long have you lived in Clayton and why you settled here? We moved to our present home in Clayton in 1980 because we could! I will say, however, it took me a couple of years to like it here. I always said I'd move back to San Francisco in a minute if I could.
What field(s) of work have you pursued and what other interesting antidotes about your work you would like to share?
I didn't pursue my line of work, but luckily it fell into my hands. I started as an Escrow Secretary at a major title insurance company in San Francisco and worked my way up, retiring as Senior Vice President, Contra Costa County Manager of Old Republic Title Company. It was a career I loved. One particular escrow I handled over the years was the sale/purchase of the Concord Sheraton, which I call my 24-hour escrow. Working on the transaction took several weeks until the final day prior to closing. That day I had to travel to San Mateo for the buyers to sign their papers (which took hours) and then to Oakland to pick up final documents from an attorney, and ultimately around midnight, to the Concord Sheraton for the seller's final signature. Instead of going home, I went back to my office to put all the documents together for recording at the County Recorder's Office at 8:00 a.m. My "24-hour escrow" closed as scheduled!
What organizations do you belong to?
I've been a member of Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista (and SI Concord before that) since 1989, an international organization whose mission is to empower women and girls, locally and throughout the world. I'm on the board of East Bay Services to the Developmentally Disabled, and now am Secretary of the board for Clayton Valley Village.
What are your hobbies?
If a new cookbook comes out, I like to read it cover to cover, not putting it down...like a great novel! When I get inspired to do so, I enjoy watercolor painting. I'd love to write a book someday but don't know where to start. Oh, and I love to plan trips. I almost love the planning more than the actual adventure. There's less anxiety with the planning part!
What do you do for relaxation?
Crossword puzzles (I can't give up my East Bay Times subscription because there are 3 crossword puzzles in there!) Read a good book that I can't put down (I love when that happens!) Look up stuff on the computer (questions are always popping into my head.) Watch documentaries or cooking shows on TV.
Where have you traveled?
Bill and I have been fortunate to have made lots of trips: Ireland was memorable; we went with Odysseys International, a small group tour company, limited to 12-24 passengers, made especially fun because our tour guide was Gerry O'Brien. He was a true Irishman with a keen sense of humor and loaded with knowledge about his country. Germany was another great trip. We had Paris, in April! And we'll always love Maui.
Is there any other interesting info you’d like to share about your life, your marriage and/or family?
This year, Bill and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and to do so, we're taking a road trip! There are ten states in the USA I have not seen, so we plan to cover them in this order: North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Our kids, John, in Aliso Viejo, CA, and Kara, in Martinez, are either happily married or happily with a significant other, and there are 3 "grand" kids involved!
What interested you in becoming a founding member of Clayton Valley Village?
I learned about the village movement from our current President, Sonja Wilkin, probably 4 years ago, and decided the concept was worth my time and energy, so I joined the task force to help organize Clayton Valley Village. I was an early advocate for having our task force members "put their money where their mouth is" by being the first to pay dues as Founding Members and thereby establish our treasury. I think our membership consists of a number of fantastic but very independent people who are initially having a difficult time asking for help. Our volunteers are ready, willing and able to assist, and I think the more the word gets out about how CVV's services can be of benefit, the more members we will attract.