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Meet a Town Clerk Who Met Her Husband in a Bar

This week's Meet Your Neighbor column introduces you to the Wenham Town Clerk.

Name: Trudy Reid

Street: 53 Topsfield Road, Wenham

Family: My husband David, my son Sean, and my daughter Aly. Dave and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage last year. Sean is a senior at and Aly is currently in the eighth grade at the . My mother-in-law Phyllis also lives with us, as well as Pearl (our dog) who has had her picture on Patch a few times.

Occupation: Town Clerk for Wenham

Hobbies/Interest: I love boating with my husband in the summer and hanging with friends on the docks. I also enjoy reading. I’ve done some knitting and would love to be able to have the time to do more.

Best book: "Sarah’s Key." It’s about an American journalist who is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris in 1942.

Best movie: "Scent of a Woman"

Dream vacation: Alaskan cruise or Scotland with my husband.

What you are passionate about? My job. I work for the residents of Wenham, and I want to make sure I do the best job that I can. The state has many regulations in place that Town Clerks must follow – election laws, complying with the Open Meeting Law, and Conflict of Interest guidelines, to name a few. Since in office, I’ve also been attending Clerk’s conferences and workshops in order to learn as much as I can and to work toward accreditation as a Town Clerk.

What talent would you like most to have? Playing the piano. When I was much younger, I took lessons from my older sister, but she yelled at me too much so I stopped taking them.

What is/was your favorite journey?  Becoming involved in Wenham. When we first moved to Wenham in 1993, I remember attending my first Town Meeting. At that time, I was asked by a neighbor if I would be interested in working as an election officer. So that started my career into town involvement, which eventually led to running for Town Clerk two years ago.

Favorite tradition? As a family, we’ve always gone to West Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my side of the family. I still continue to do that, but now only with my daughter. With my mother-in-law living with us, my husband and son stay in Wenham to spend the holiday with her. It works for all of us. Also, my daughter and I have been going to West Virginia for Mother’s Day, as it also allows me to spend that day with my mother.

Who is your favorite local resident? Dorothy Woodbury and George O’Shea, as well as all the seniors in town. Dorothy and George have a great sense of humor, and both have been very supportive of me for as long as I’ve known them. All the rest of seniors are also favorites. I loved getting to know them when I was the Director of the Council on Aging, and as Town Clerk, I still see many of them.

What is your greatest achievement? Several years ago, while I was the Wenham Council on Aging Director, I took the initiative to directly apply for a grant from the state to allow the Hamilton-Wenham joint van program to receive a new van. After two long years of pursuing the grant, the COA was finally awarded the new van in 2010. The state covered 80 percwnt of the cost, and the other 20 percent came from the the van gift account (donations), so we got a new state of the art van for no cost to the towns. The van is shared between Wenham and Hamilton, enabling seniors and the disabled to get to their doctor appointments, hair appointments, grocery shopping, etc.

How long have you lived in Hamilgon-Wenham? My husband and I moved here in 1993.

How come you chose Hamilton-Wenham? My husband grew up in Wenham before moving away for college, and then for work, where we met in Washington, D.C. After a stint in metro New York, his job eventually brought us back to Wenham, which I am thankful for as I love the area. The first time he drove me through the area in 1987 I knew then and there that I would love living here, and even though we were living in Connecticut at the time we got married, I chose to get married here at .

What is your favorite place in Hamilton-Wenham? Although I don’t go there often enough, I would have to say the . I love reading, but I hate to spend money on books since I know I can find almost anything I want to read at the library. Most of the time I will check out books online and when they are ready stop by to pick them up.

What is for your favorite shop?  I first started going to Banbury Cross when my son was two-years-old for their program . Anytime I need a children’s gift or book, I head to Banbury Cross. Pat Purdy and her staff are wonderful. When my daughter wants to shop for books, I know I can send her in there by herself and she will have a selection of books that I don’t have to worry about the content.

What is a fact about you that most don’t know? A few tibits are: I’m the youngest of nine, I have a twin sister and I picked up my husband in a bar.

Where would someone see you around town? , , and .

Which local services and programs do you support? First Church of Wenham, Wenham Fire Company, , Trustees of the Reservations, WGBH, a variety of other local charities and groups and most of the area shops and restaurants.

What do you think should be done with the donated land from Joanne Patton? I haven’t thought much about it to date, but I think it’s very nice of Mrs. Patton to donate the land, and I guess I wouldn’t mind if it simply stayed as open space.

What change would you like to see in Hamilton-Wenham? More volunteers for boards and committees. The same people continue to volunteer their time, which is great, but sometimes these people continue to step up because no one else will. There is so much talent and knowledge between the two towns, it would be nice to see different residents get involved. We all must remember that these New England towns are what we make of them (unlike the impersonal cities and counties most areas are comprised of) so we should all help to make it the best place we can.

Jay Burnham March 03, 2012 at 10:59 AM
You are doing a great job, Trudy! Wenham is fortunate to have you as Town Clerk.
Melanie D'Orio March 03, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Great interview Trudy! You are such a valued member of the community and I feel fortunate to know you and have you as a sounding board and committee member for Wenham Issues of Social Services and Help. Thanks for ALL you do!
Judy White March 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Sis you make me proud!!!
Cami Beckman March 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Wonderful write up and tribute to Judy - you are a terrific person. The picture is great, too - you look Fabulous!
Stephen B. Cross March 03, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Hey sis.....congratulation on a fine article !!!! We're all very proud of you, back here in the hills of West Virginia !!!!
Marty Cooke March 03, 2012 at 05:53 PM
It's great to see someone passionate about the town doing the job you're doing. Keep up the good work.
Sharon Hines March 03, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Trudy, . Di forwarded this to me, Looking at your picture alone took me back thru the years, as you look just like your Mom as I remember her growing up. So proud of you. Nan (Right) Hines
Jennifer Flynn March 03, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Love all the comments! Yeah Trudy!!!

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