Spotlight COlorado  

Have You Met?

For those of you who send less-than-pleasant messages to Penny Parker regarding her column, you need not bother. She doesn’t read or listen to them. When Penny starts reading her e-mails or listening to a voice mail that begins with foul language or a snotty message, she simply hits her handy DELETE button. She said people can be unbelievably cruel and wonders why they don’t just turn the page to another article.

Penny learned to develop a thick skin early in her journalism career. In college, her first news assignment was to write her own obituary. The professor chose Penny's as the worst of the bunch. Never one to give up easily, Penny sought advice, listened, persevered, and eventually came to appreciate the lesson.

Today, Penny has her own column, “Penny Parker On the Town.” She is one of the most widely read writers in the Rocky Mountains, and that, she will tell you, puts nasty messages in true perspective.

Philanthropic interests: Cindy has volunteered for four years with The Adoption Exchange

Favorite Clothing Store: Nordstrom

What gives a woman/man style: Their total appearance gives them style. The way they put together the outfit, the color, cut and style. Also, brains, intelligence and a sense of humor enhance a person's style.

Interests: Golf

Favorite Restaurants: Mizuna, Morton's, The Palm, Maggiano's, Campe de Fiore and Benny's

Saturdays are likely to find you: Playing golf or going to an event for "The Rocky Mountain News"

Favorite Books: "The Fountain Head" by Ayn Rand and "Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger

Pets: I have two step-dogs, Buddy and Dale

What three things do you always have in your refrigerator? Wine, restaurant left-overs and water

What's your favorite comfort food? Junk food? A big prime steak is my favorite comfort food. My junk food choice is Cheetos - not the puffy kind.

What was your most memorable meal? My husband, Greg, proposed at Maggiano's and that is my most memorable meal.

What food can't you live without? Wine - Chardonnay

Where do you go in your home to feel completely relaxed and just think? My family room couch. It is leather and so comfortable.

If money and time were no object, what dream project would you do (to your home). I would rip out the plaid wallpaper in the kitchen and replace it with faux paint.

What was the most unusual thing you've ever decorated your home with? I sponge-painted a room with three different colors

What one word describes you best? Fun

What word would you like others to use to describe you? Funny

If your life were a movie, what movie would it be? Who would play your part? "On The Town," starring Bette Milder

Who is your hero? Why? My Dad. He is 81 and plays tennis once a week. He has attended the same exercise class for 40 years. I admire his discipline.

What is your pet peeve? People who are black holes. They suck everything out of you and give nothing back.

Where can you be found at midnight? Usually at home and, on occasion, at an event.

What was your first job? I was a volunteer waitress at a small restaurant

What would you do if you were king of the world? I would turn the clock back before September 11th.

What word or expression do you use too much? A swear word you don't want to print.

If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be? I would love to never have to battle the bulge.

What is your greatest indulgence? Eating at restaurants

Best gift you ever gave? The gift of life to my son.

If you could have a no-holds-barred shopping spree, where would you go? I would go to New York City and shop at Saks Fifth Avenue. I also like Teuscher Chocolates

What is one thing nobody knows about you? Not everything rolls off my back

Which social event is your favorite? I like Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation. All of the proceeds go to feeding the hungry.

If you could be something other than what you are, what would you be? I would like to be an actress.

What is a favorite childhood memory? All of my childhood Christmases. My mother was great at buying gifts and I remember having a fabulous Barbie Doll collection with special cases for their clothing.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met? Oprah Winfrey. Her show had just been syndicated and she came to Seattle to promote the show. We talked about what was to become one of her most popular topics -- diets! She was very funny and I was impressed with her capacity to listen.
I also met Richard Simmons while living in Seattle and he was like seeing you mother.

What makes you laugh? It takes an intelligent person to make me laugh. It's hard to be funny if you're not bright.

What is your favorite item of clothing in your closet? A Garfield and Marks black suit I bought at Nordstrom.

What do you consider your proudest achievement? Raising my son.

What's the most recent book you've read? "The Ya Ya Sisterhood."

What is your greatest regret? I regret putting my son through a divorce.

What is your personal motto? Work hard and play hard.

What is the best advice your Mom/Dad ever gave you? "Don't let the bastards get you down," and "This, too, shall pass."