Everyone in town has a story to tell and opinions to share. In this feature, we shine the spotlight on one resident to learn more about them and their connection to town.
Meet: Linda Di Bona
Hopkinton Independent: What brought you to Hopkinton?
Di Bona: “I grew up in Ashland, and then I lived in Portland, Maine, Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. My husband at the time was a DJ, and to advance [the career] you moved around. Then after the marriage, I moved back here. But I really loved the South and the weather climate. So I moved down to the DC area because I knew I could drive home. [I moved back] because of the real estate crash. I sold my house while it was still mine to sell. But I had no idea how much I’d love being back here. New England was in my roots. I just love being back here with my people.”
HI: Tell us about your background and what you did for a living?
Di Bona: “[My last name] in Italian means ‘from good.’ My father taught me most Italian names have a meaning, and he said ‘from good’ as if to say ‘live up to your name.’ He told me when I was, I don’t know, 12 or something. … At first, I was in the radio industry. I went to school for that, broadcast and communication, and [then] I worked in an ad agency. Then after that, I got into — everyone kept saying you should be in sales — and so I got with corporations and my career was with well-known companies, having territories and sales and accounts and quotas, so that’s what my career was.”
HI: What activities do you enjoy in your free time around town?
Di Bona: “Well, around town, just socializing with my friends. But in general I love to ski, I love to dance. I really loved to ski, and I did more skiing in Virginia. I moved back and I can’t find anyone who wants to ski! Well, I think they’re all too old. I used to, but I don’t ski anymore. I love the [Town Common] gazebo and that area because that’s just a typical New England [town staple].”
HI: What makes Hopkinton unique in your opinion?
Di Bona: “Oh, I love Hopkinton. I love living in Hopkinton. I always thought Ashland was a nice place to grow up, and it was, but Hopkinton offers a lot. For instance, we have the performing arts, and I know the quality of the schools are excellent here. We have two state parks. I mean, the quality of the people and just I admire how connected the people that have grown up here [are]. Everyone I know tells me, ‘Oh, we’ve been friends with that person since they were 8 years old.’ It’s amazing.”
HI: What is your favorite Hopkinton memory?
Di Bona: “I think it would be the Marathon. I grew up in Ashland, and that has always been a state holiday. We always had it off. We lived on the end of Ashland that was by Framingham. My mother would take my brother and I and we would walk to the [Route] 135 and 126 intersection and watch [the runners]. I never saw the start until I moved here. To me, it’s exciting — even after I’ve stood there for a few hours watching it. [Then] I go home and watch the rest of it the whole day on TV. I just love it. It’s so different — when I grew up, the whole thing went past you in 20 minutes. It was so small.”
HI: If you could change one thing about Hopkinton, what would it be?
Di Bona: “There’s not really too much, because it’s a wonderful town. I guess I would’ve put a Trader Joe’s here. When wonderful Colella’s was closing up, people were speculating and I just was hoping for [a] Trader Joe’s. … I do not wish to be controversial, but I can think of one thing that I could not like to see happen that’s currently a possibility. Well, I guess I’ve given enough of a hint to anyone in Hopkinton reading this. The easements and taking land away from owners of the land. I’m in favor of bike riding and reducing emissions and all [that], but I guess I sort of don’t understand. For the few [vs.] the huge majority, it doesn’t make sense. The small businesses downtown, [the easements] will take parking away from them. Who knows what will happen to all those people living that way.”
— Interview conducted by Gethin Coolbaugh