Your Turn

Your Turn/Kent Embree

Embree, Kent
| H-W Photo/Michael Kipley
Michael Kipley 1|
Posted: Sep. 1, 2018 10:35 pm

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a scientist. My eighth-grade science teacher, Mr. Fleming, used to entertain us with some pretty spectacular science demonstrations, and I was fascinated by them. Eventually, I realized my greater strengths were in communications, but I have a pretty strong background in math and science.

What would you rather be doing right now? Playing my electric guitar and dabbling in music. I love the gadgetry of electronic music and would play all day if I could manage it.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I'm really a closet punk rocker. That guy is buried pretty deep most of the time, though.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? I'm most proud of my oldest son becoming an Eagle Scout. Still working on the younger son.

It really stinks when ... (people are) driving and texting. Hands down, the worst thing ever, but I see it every day. How do people not realize how inconsiderate and dangerous that is?

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Dependable.

I always laugh when ... hearing movie lines. Certain turns of phrase will get me to giggle even when no one else gets it. Usually the most ridiculous situations and weird comic sketches. I'm a huge fan of "Spinal Tap" and "Caddyshack."

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? Elliot Easton, Isaac Asimov and Jesus. A musician, a scientist and author, and God. These men have lived lives that changed the human condition in some way through their work on this Earth. Elliot Easton is just one of my musical idols, but he's a very creative dude. I think there would be some good conversation.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... watch a movie or walk my dog. Both help my brain relax when I'm mentally exhausted.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... quiet and polite.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... Kate Capshaw, wife of Steven Spielberg. She is related to my college roommate and actually visited us back in the '80s at the University of Iowa. I always joke that Kate Capshaw once used my bathroom!

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... see a concert or meet members of one of my favorite bands.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... scuba dive or explore caves. I'm too claustrophobic.

America should be more concerned about ... improving quality of life for our citizens. We have the capacity and technology to create a much better society than what we have. I guess I have kind of a Zen mentality when it comes to prioritizing what is important in life.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... socks. A guy can never have too many socks. I think I have a pair of socks for every situation.

When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... Facebook. I happen to use it a lot for work, but it's also my personal scrapbook to keep track of important things in my life. I can find out what's happening locally pretty quickly, too, just by seeing what local media and friends are sharing.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? I was a freelance business owner for a while, and before I went out on my own, an older co-worker told me, "Just remember, if you are not earning, you are falling behind." He was trying to advise me about cash flow because we all have a finite number of working years. When I ran my own business, I could see what he meant by the ups and downs of the economy.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... XM Radio: Alt Nation or First Wave.

I always get sentimental when ... Don't tell my wife, but I actually like movies that dramatize the human condition. It's very cathartic for me to sit down and watch something sad about war, or even a romance, and shed a tear or two when the characters are fighting adversity or injustice. When the musicians went down with the ship in "Titanic," that did me in.

The older I get, the more I realize ... how important it is to have balance between work and family. I can be a real workaholic, but then I hit a wall and realize I need to have some down time for myself and also spend more time with my wife and kids.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... It's been a lifelong regret that I did not receive my Eagle Scout rank as a Boy Scout, even more so, now that I have two sons in scouting. As an adult, I've done the next best thing, which is to volunteer as a leader and board member over the years.

My favorite item of clothing is ... I'm not particularly attached to one piece of clothing, but I am all about comfort. If I could get away with it, I would wear a nice pair of blue jeans every day.

If I've learned anything at all ... There is no they. There is only we. If you are not part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.

Kent Embree, 50, is executive director of the Quincy Public Schools Foundation. Embree grew up in Quincy and is married to Denise (Huntley) Embree, who also is from Quincy. They have two sons, Evan, 19, and Garrett, 13.