Iftner, David

With DAVID IFTNER

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a forest ranger. Who wouldn’t want to work outside and be surrounded by nature?

What would you rather be doing right now? Observing and/or collecting butterflies in south Texas or the Caribbean.

Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone that ... I am a student of the Lakota culture.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? I have two — receiving my Ph.D in entomology from the Ohio State University and the publication of my book, “Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio.”

It really stinks when ... people do not live up to their own values or beliefs when preaching it to others.

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

I always laugh when ... I get together with fellow lepidopterists (individuals who study butterflies and moths) and we begin talking about amusing things that we have experienced while in the field.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? Ernie Banks, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Ernie was my childhood idol. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Tyson are two scientists that I greatly respect and would love to meet.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... either read or work on my butterfly collection.

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... just an average kid who really liked the natural sciences.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... Barack Obama when he came to Pittsfield while running for the U.S. Senate. I knew from that meeting that he would eventually be president of the United States.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... go to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... change my lifestyle.

America should be more concerned about ... losing its freedoms (rights). Just look at what is happening today.

I’m OK if there’s ever a national shortage of ... insect specimens. I have thousands.

When I’m on the internet, I always go to ... the news. I like to keep up on what is happening around the U.S. and the world.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? Always watch your back. Sound advice from my wife and from my high school departmental chairman when I taught biology.

When I’m cruising down the road, I’m likely listening to ... Bruce Springsteen.

I always get sentimental when ... I get together with relatives at our annual family reunion.

The older I get, the more I realize ... how fast your life goes by.

If I had one “do-over,” I would ... do nothing. I do not have the time to waste wondering what “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” You can’t turn back time.

My favorite item of clothing is ... an Ohio State University hooded sweatshirt. As a proud, dedicated Buckeye alumnus, it comes out every year when OSU’s football season begins.

If I’ve learned anything at all ... it is to keep moving forward. Live your days as if they are your last.

David Iftner, 70, is married to Kaye. He was born and raised in northern Illinois and is retired from the U.S. Postal Service. His primary enjoyment is studying butterflies of the U.S. and the Caribbean.

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