Amy Swingle

A feature highlight citizens of the Houston area.

•Residence: Houston (Houston native).

•Birthday: March 7.

•Occupation: Co-owner of Swingle’s Grand Avenue Cafe in Houston (along with husband, Eric); office support assistant at the South Central Correctional Center in Licking (15 years).

•Education: Graduate of Houston High School; associate’s degree from Metro Business College in business management and computers.  

•Pets: Three dogs: Ross (Shih Tzu), Scout (lemon beagle) and Ellie Mae (German shepherd – great Pyrenees mix).

•Favorite food: “I have lots of favorites – I just like food. But my new favorite is our ‘kraut burger’ at our restaurant. Every time I’m in here I have to have one.”

•Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate.

•Least favorite food: Brussels sprouts. “I got sick on them one time. It was really like a stomach flu or something, but I made the connection with the food and because I ate that and became ill, that connection is still there.”

•Best place I’ve ever eaten at: Red Lobster.

•Some of my favorite activities: Camping with the family, reading, crocheting.

•Number of states I’ve set foot in: 15.

•Favorite state: Georgia. “I like all the plantation homes and things like that.”

•Place I’d most like to visit: “Somewhere tropical. I enjoy the warm weather and the water, and I would like to try some of their cuisine – especially where they roast food in a sand pit.”

•Favorite kind of music: Country. “I also like new age pop rock and contemporary Christian, but I don’t like rap.”

•Favorite movie: “The Notebook.” “I also like a lot of the other Nicholas Sparks movies.”     

•Favorite TV shows: “Green Acres,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Munsters.”  “I like the older shows. My kids and I watched the Munsters the other day and they were like, ‘what’s wrong with the TV? Where’s the color?’ I told them there was nothing wrong and it doesn’t come in color. But they all sat there just glued to it. As far as modern-day shows, it’s ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ We’re dedicated watchers of that.”

•Favorite sports teams: St. Louis Blues (NHL), St. Louis Cardinals (MLB).

•Favorite plant: Bleeding heart. “They’re hardy, they’re beautiful, and to me they have a lot of symbolism behind them.”

•Favorite tree: Mimosa.

•Favorite school subject: Math. “It just made sense to me. I liked trying to get to the bottom line of what’s going on.”

•Least favorite school subject: History. “The older I get, the more I realize that history does repeat itself, and it’s worth paying attention to. But back then it seemed pointless – like, it’s done, it’s gone and it’s in the past.”

•Two pet peeves: “One is when you’re driving down the highway and someone pulls out in front of you and goes 15 miles per hour under the speed limit, and you look in the rearview mirror and realize there’s nobody behind you and they could easily have waited for you to go by and then pull out behind you. Another is when you’re trying to have a conversation with somebody and they always want to out-talk you, because they’ve always been there, done that or are on their way to do it. It annoys me when somebody knows something about every single topic.”

•Someone (other than my parents) who I admire or was influenced by: “My husband, Eric. With him being military, I have a lot of admiration for him and his fellow soldiers for doing what they do. He’s been deployed three times, and the bravery and dedication they show for this country is admirable.”

•A big accomplishment: Raising my daughter. “She was raised right, with good morals and good values, and she is very level-headed. You can’t really find that in people any more – let alone 19-year-old kids.”

What Houston could really, really use (within the realm of practicality):

“People need to do more caring more about one another and quit being so self-centered. I grew up here and I remember when it was different. I’ve seen this town go from where you know everybody to where you hardly know anybody, and I think we need to focus on each other more, whether it’s helping look out after each other’s children or giving back to the community. It seems like people here are drifting apart more than they’re coming together. We just need more dedication to the town, like shopping locally and supporting local businesses – and of course that goes back to giving back to the community.

“I also think we need places that employ lots of people, like when I was young and we had well-paying jobs at Brown Shoe and H.D. Lee. I think it was a big turning point for Houston when we lost our jobs.”

The worst things about the holiday season:

“One of the worst things is that people forget about the reason behind Christmas. I think it’s too commercialized, I think it’s too money-oriented and I think it needs to go back to its roots. I told my mom a few days ago that if society wouldn’t look down on me so much that I would take my children to Walmart and instead of buying for them, let them buy for a kid their age so they can understand what it’s like to give instead of receive. But like I said, it’s way too commercialized. There’s Christmas stuff up in the stores before Halloween and that’s just ridiculous.”

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