Your Turn

Your Turn/Gale Rublee

Posted: Jul. 14, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jul. 15, 2019 1:40 pm

With GALE RUBLEE

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a prima ballerina. I simply loved to dance. After reading a book about ballerinas and how they started at the age of 5 practicing five hours each day, I realized that probably wasn't going to work out for me since my ballet teacher only came to town twice in a week. By the time I was 12, I knew I wanted to be an actress. Maybe even a "triple threat" so I could dance, sing and act in musicals.

What would you rather be doing right now? Kayaking down one of Missouri's clear, cool Ozark streams or swimming in Lake Memphremagog in Vermont. If it was winter, it'd be skiing downhill on a beautiful green or blue trail in Colorado or Vermont. (No black diamonds for me! I'm there for the view.)

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I said a line on "General Hospital" when I was pursuing an acting career in Hollywood.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? I think I feel "proudest" when I see someone close to me, myself or even a stranger overcome a hurdle, accomplish something they didn't know they could do or be touched by some new experience. I'm also proudest when I've been part of a community who comes together to create something greater than ourselves which makes a positive impact. Here are some examples: I got third place in a ski race when I was about 8 years old. There were only four kids in the race, but it was the first and only time I placed. Overcoming and learning to manage my own struggles with bipolar mental illness. Introducing my son to Lake Memphremagog where I grew up in Vermont. Being my partner's support crew and cheering her on when she finished the MR340, a 340-mile kayak/canoe/paddle board race on the Missouri River from Kansas City, Kan. to St. Charles, Mo. Watching my students work together and perform in their own productions.

It really stinks when ... I see trash on the ground. It drives me crazy! Why do people think they can just throw stuff out their car window or anywhere outside? Would they throw trash in their own living room? Where do they think this stuff goes? This includes cigarette butts put out everywhere which get washed into the sewer system or into the river. They do not easily break down and are one of the hardest things to remove in wastewater treatment systems. Also, why do people throw trash in recycling containers when it clearly says "recycling?"

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

I always laugh when ... I'm with my siblings, and we are remembering some humorous childhood event or when a close friend or family member points out something silly I did without realizing it.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? My mother (deceased), so I can introduce my son to her. John Muir to go along with him on one of his many adventures around Yosemite or anywhere in the wilderness. Harvey L. Page, my maternal great-grandfather, to find out how the story I always tell of him saving the Alamo really came to be.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... sit down to a good meal lovingly prepared for me, then relax in front of a really good movie with my partner or find a great place to watch a gorgeous sunset.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... an innocent, giving, creative free spirit.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... when I spent the summer at Williamstown Summer Theater in Massachusetts with my first husband. We met and worked with many actors who were well-known or became well-known like Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Spacey, Christopher Reeves, Richard Thomas, Blythe Danner (Gywneth Paltrow's mother), Austin Pendleton and Olympia Dukakis.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... go swimming in a clear, cool stream or lake.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... I'd rather answer what I'd do with a million dollars which would be travel more and bring loved ones with me, go to all our national parks and hike and explore, hike the Muir Trail, volunteer more for causes I believe in, give money to friends and family who struggle financially. But no way would I have spiders crawl all over me, especially ones that could bite like black widow spiders.

America should be more concerned about ... finding ways to really listen to each other person to person, politician to politician, state to state so we come to understand each other better and work together even when we disagree. "Democracy is messy" as so many people have said, but when we listen to each other's stories with respect and empathy, we find our common human story.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... Earrings. I do love finding unique earrings -- they are little works of art. Also, portraits of myself. My mother was a portrait artist, and I have several family portraits I have no idea where to put. Or family china that I inherited when my mother died.

When I'm on the Internet, I always go to ... my emails because there's usually something I have to address or communicate with someone about.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? That the appreciation of beauty is a worthwhile endeavor and talent. (It was said to me by the sister of a close friend when she was struggling finding and recognizing her own self-worth. I realized this was one of my gifts, too.)

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... John Denver.

I always get sentimental when ... I watch people performing in a sport like during the Olympics and they're emotional after winning or when standing on the podium. It doesn't really matter what country they're from, but there's something abut acknowledging all the hard work and sacrifice they and everyone around them have put in that brought them to this moment that catches my breath and makes the tears fall.

The older I get, the more I realize ... that spending time in nature, surrounding myself with beauty and listening to my own heart and mind is vital to my well-being.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... not have gotten married to my first husband right after college at age 21. Instead, I would have gone to New York and lived with my brother and sister and pursued acting there. It's always one of those life choices that makes me wonder how my lie would have been different.

My favorite item of clothing is ... my handy dandy bandana, especially when hiking.

If I've learned anything at all ... We as human beings are hard-wired for story, and we each have a story to share that's worth telling. When we take the time to listen and share them, we have more compassion and understanding for each other.

Gale Rublee, 57, was born near the shores of Lake Memphremagog in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont during gale force winds, the youngest of four children. Her life's work is to foster compassion and understanding, encourage creative expression and connect people to the wonders of nature. She has one son, who graduated from college a year ago, and a few "adopted" nieces and nephews. Rublee moved to Hannibal in 2015 because her partner got a job teaching art at Hannibal High School. Since then, she has found her own place in the community through being the coordinator and acting instructor for Bluff City Theater's Youth Education in Theater Initiative (YETI), the interpreter guide for Hannibal Parks and Rec nature programs and a ghost tour and riverboat guide for the Hannibal History Museum.