Been There, Done That: Spotlight interviews with Marblehead seniors

Name: Pat Bibbo

Age: 88

Place of birth: Newton

How long have you lived in Marblehead? “I’ve lived here 66 years. I moved here when I was 22 for my wife, who grew up in Marblehead. We met at a party at my fraternity house in Brookline when I was a student at BU and she was a student at Lasell College in Newton.”

What is your fondest childhood memory? “In 1943, I went to my first major league baseball game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox were playing the Yankees. Most of the big stars, like Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, were away in the service but we saw pitcher Dave ‘Boo’ Ferriss. I went with my twin brother and my two sisters, and it was a great day.”


What jobs have you had and what was your favorite? “I worked at New England Telephone and AT&T for more than 35 years. I spent my career in management positions in marketing and sales, and human resources. After I retired, I worked as a consultant until 2010. I was a workaholic. I didn’t know what a 40-hour work week was or that the retirement age was 65.”

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the world? “After World War II, there was a quiet period until the Korean War. It seems like we haven’t had a quiet period since then. There’s always something going on. The other major change has been the advancement of technology.”

What is your biggest accomplishment? “My greatest accomplishment is being a loving parent, grandparent and now great-grandparent of three. I received many awards as both a salesman and manager, but I think it is my extracurricular activities that make me the proudest. I still organize alumni events for my high school and Boston University. In Marblehead, I was a coach and official for 15 years with youth basketball and baseball. I joined the Marblehead Council on Aging in 2014 and spent 60-80 hours a month building the bocce, curling and (former) pickleball programs. When I arrived, the bocce program had 12 people and met once a week. Now we have 64 people and meet five days a week. We even have a travel team that competes in other towns.”

Who is the most famous person you’ve met? “President Kennedy. I met him at his campaign office in Boston when he was running for president. I had the management responsibility for the communications for all the campaign offices in Boston for all the candidates for national and state elections.”

What moment in history is most vivid in your memory? “The day JFK got shot. I was walking from my office in Park Square to the financial district. I got as far as Tremont Street and a fellow standing next to his automobile said, ‘Did you hear the president got shot?’ It was a bad day.”

What piece of advice do you have for young people today? “Build confidence in yourself. Believe in something and go forth with it. Don’t hold back.”

*** ”If I could, I’d like to end this interview with a few words regarding the Marblehead COA. Most of us have never met any of the folks that we get introduced to by becoming members. The relationships that we develop with one another are beyond belief. Never could any of us think that at this stage in our lives we would be meeting and associating with such a wonderful group of individuals.”

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Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.

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