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Getting to Know ... Peter Ross

Getting to Know … Peter Ross

The Cape Breton Post, 12 Jan 2013. Page C1

Name: Peter Ross

Age: 55 – still searching for freedom

Occupation: Writer, information and content developer, fencing coach, math tutor, co-proprietor of Esplanade Executive Suites

Home: Sydney

Birthplace: London, Ontario

Family: Part of a far-flung extended clan of Rosses and Honsbergers and adopted by others here in Cape Breton. I have two Cape Breton sons who currently live in Ontario, and I am recently betrothed to Karen Crouse, my soul mate and next of kin.

Pets: I grew up with big dogs. These days I have a snow-globe with Sydney-harbour plankton in it. Does that count?

What was your first job? Working in the stockroom of the house-wares department at Simpson’s. I always liked retail after that.

What talent would you most like to have? The ability to write and perform love songs of enduring popularity.

Coffee or tea? Half-decaffeinated coffee. They call it arf’n’arf at the Bean Bank

What is your favourite food? It’s a toss-up between Cape Breton maple syrup and Cape Breton wildflower honey.

Favourite movie? The Princess Bride. My sons and I were so enamoured of the sword-fighting scene between the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya, the world’s greatest swordsman, that we started the YMCA Musketeers Fencing program here in Sydney.

Favourite book? I read a lot. I don’t think I could choose a single favourite book. Science Fiction would be my favourite genre.

Favourite music? These days I especially like the music of Don Crouse and Jean Robertson. They perform jazz and gospel duets around Cape Breton. They are amazing and inspirational.

How do you spend your leisure time? Athletics, especially fencing, skiing, and mountain biking. Otherwise, you can probably find me puttering in the yard.

What is your pet peeve? Litter. I just don’t get it.

Which trait in people do you most admire? Other people’s patience and good humour have saved my bacon a lot of times. I am thankful for those. I like to cultivate listening skills and determination for myself.

What is your motto or favourite saying? My mom used to say ten short words: If it is to be it is up to me. My dad used to say: It’s a great life, if you don’t weaken.

What is your favourite thing about Cape Breton? The climate! Hah, just kidding. The people of Cape Breton are wonderful. I love the close proximity of nature. I love talking to people from away. I love Cape Breton’s music tradition. I love roads that end at the sea. I love the success of Cape Breton’s Mi’kmaq communities. I love ballroom dancing at Doris MacDonald’s class on Friday nights. I love the sound of steel-on-steel in fencing class. I love this fixer-upper mansion that I own with Karen, and our view of Wentworth Park.

What is your favourite place to travel? I like ski holidays. My beloved likes beaches. We are actively searching for a place that has a ski hill within a one-hour drive of a beach. We have heard that there is sometimes snow on the mountaintops of Hawaii. That might work.

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