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Commingled Conversation: George O’Connell

Our offbeat Q&A with Perkins Manufacturing's George O'Connell.

George O’Connell of Perkins Manufacturing has attended every WasteExpo since 1968 and in 1991 was named to the Environmental Industry Associations Hall of Fame. This month, O’Connell is retiring from Perkins after 20 years with the company. Based on his idea of the perfect day, he seems well informed as to how to mark that occasion. Hopefully he will not have access to a fighter plane the following morning.

Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?

O'Connell: People who talk loudly on cell phones in crowded places.

Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?

O'Connell: Thirty-six holes of golf, a gin rummy game, Tanqueray gin, an upscale steakhouse followed by a fine cognac and a beautiful woman.

Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

O'Connell: “You don’t learn anything by talking.”

Waste Age: What was the last book you read?

O'Connell: “Two Years Before the Mast” by Richard Henry Dana.

Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?

O'Connell: “Gone With the Wind.”Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?

O'Connell: Old movies.

Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?

O'Connell: Neither.

Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?

O'Connell: Beach.

Waste Age: Besides your family, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

O'Connell: Breathing.

Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?

O'Connell: Joe Foss, a U.S. fighter ace in World War II; Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, another WWII U.S. fighter ace in the Marines; and General John “Jock” Henebry, an Air Force Major General in WWII and the Korean War.

Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?

O'Connell: A pro football player.

Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?

O'Connell: The Chicago Bears.

Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

O'Connell: The ability to see into the future.

Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

O'Connell: Landing fighter planes on aircraft carriers.

Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?

O'Connell: My memory.

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