Paul Hexom lives a life of service, laughter, and passion.
Interview and foreword by Sondra Carver
I’ve lived in Decorah long enough to know that everywhere I go, Paul is there volunteering. He is still a cowboy at heart and farms a 40 acre tree farm.
I thought he was an excellent person for this honor
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My father said,”don’t worry, but be concerned.” Trust in God and take one day at a time. You can’t change yesterday, tomorrow will be whatever, and we can do our best today.
How about the worst?
Somebody said get a new car for better mileage. I did and the mileage was the same as before.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Because of Roy Rogers, I wanted to be a cowboy. I also wanted to be a farmer. My first job was selling garden seeds door-to-door in elementary school for which I earned a guitar. After graduating from high school in 1957, I graduated from Luther College in 1961, then I spent 21/2 years in seminary. After hearing Bob Hope talk about the Peace Corps, I joined and spent 1964-1966 in India.
What was your career?
I was in sales and management for World Book Encyclopedia for 46 years. I’ve also been president of Nordic Fest, chairman of the United Way, president and vice-president of the Winneshiek County Historical Society, and president of Decorah JayCees. Presently I am vice-president of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum Board, vice-chairman of the Decorah Historic Preservation Commission, and chairman of the Locust School Museum. I also volunteer at the the food pantry.
Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
I am well-organized, honest, calm, thoughtful, can work with all ages, and have a “long fuse.”
Do you have some favorite quotes?
Yes, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people,” by Victor Borge, and “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face,” by Victor Hugo. If everyone would hug someone everyday, it would be a more peaceful world.
If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Name one thing you could not live without?
What is your favorite memory?
A trip to Norway in 2005