10 Questions for Marie Addario, Community leader, vocalist

Marie Addario hails from the Garden State. She’s lived in San Diego County since 1971 and in Rancho Santa Fe since 1978. Addario, a moderate Republican, has a bachelor’s and master’s in education. The former teacher is the immediate past president of the Rancho Santa Fe Association Board and currently a vocalist with the Rancho Santa Fe Big Band. She has been married for 38 years and has two grown children.

What brought you to Rancho Santa Fe?

The U.S. Navy. My husband, Dominick, enlisted during his training as a psychiatry resident in Albany, NY. He was stationed for two years at Balboa Hospital working with the POW return program.

What makes the Ranch special to you?

The Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe is really a small town with an active village, disguised as a home owner’s association. It’s a place where many independent thinkers agree to cooperate with one another for the good of the community. It is not pretentious and boasts things like 40 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, open space and historic significance.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Rancho Santa Fe?

Simply, the traffic that continues to plague not only us, but ironically our neighbors who stopped a crucial east/west connector, Highway 680, from being built to alleviate our area traffic.

Who or what inspires you?

Open-minded evidence-based thinkers who are not afraid of questioning and testing.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

The great people in my life who have passed on. Most of them were artists in one way or another. A Sicilian-American, internationally-known portrait photographer who saw people as exquisitely special and was able to capture those unique facial finger prints on canvas - Tony DiGesu. An architectural designer who was once a Golden Gloves Boxer in NYC in the 1950s and who taught my husband and I everything he knew about “style” and living life well - Gerry Jerome. Jacob Bronowski, a British mathematician and biologist best remembered as the presenter and writer of the BBC television documentary series, “The Ascent of Man,” an extraordinary man who graced our lives and was one heck of a dinner partner. I don’t think I could handle 5 more.

What are you currently reading?

“The Creators” by Daniel J. Boorstin. It’s a history of heroes of the imagination. Also, “1491" by Charles C. Mann. It’s about the Americas before Christopher Columbus.

What is your most prized possession?

My maternal grandmother would have told you her citizenship papers, which she always kept on her person. I think my most prized possession is the life she and all my ancestors have enabled me.

What do you do for fun?

Everything I possibly can.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

My daughter and my son. They have become wonderful people. And, yes, I do take some credit for that.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Never think you have the answers. Once you do that, you may be obliged to stop thinking.