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 Chuss
Hopkinton Independent: How did you wind up in Hopkinton?
Chuss: “We’ve been here for 18 years. I’m from Pennsylvania originally. My husband [Michael Alfano] is from New York. I have a son and a daughter — my daughter is Kamala Chuss and she is in 11th grade at the high school and my son Freeman Alfano is a junior at UMass. We were in Framingham and we needed a bigger place and really wanted a place where basically I could get into nature for walks without having to drive somewhere, so luckily we found a place here where I’m like three minutes from Whitehall State Park, three minutes from Upton State Park, and many other places we can get to with such a very short drive so we can do walks and use the lakes and things like that.”
HI: What do you do for a living?
Chuss: “I’ve been in computers and software my whole adult life. I work as a program manager at a software company [in Worcester]. We were consultants to other companies and I get to work on some pretty cool things like drones and robots and medical devices that save people’s lives and things like that.”
HI: What activities and hobbies do you do for fun?
Chuss: “Right now I would say my current thing is I’m trying to spend as much of my free time as I can politically campaigning for Bernie Sanders. I recently took up mosaics, so I’ve been going to mosaics classes in Holliston. And vacations, planning vacations, taking vacations, reliving vacations. I really love to travel. That’s my favorite thing to do.”
HI: What makes Hopkinton unique in your opinion?
Chuss: “I think the nature — all the parks we have, the state parks, the natural beauty. I guess the thing I love about [the town] too the most is probably the Marathon, although lately I don’t love the security because it’s really not a lot of fun anymore to go downtown, but I still love the whole Marathon weekend. Probably one of my favorite things is Kenya Day at the Elmwood School, where they bring in the Kenyan runners, they do lots of cultural activities involving Kenyan culture. I just really love that. It’s a great thing to be able to participate in, great for our kids.”
HI: What are your favorite things to do around town?
Chuss: “I don’t know that I do so much around town. I feel like that’s maybe one of the things I don’t like about Hopkinton. Other than the nature, it feels like there isn’t that much to do around town. I do like the Hopkinton Center for the Arts.”
HI: What are your favorite Hopkinton memories?
Chuss: “One thing is my husband’s a sculptor and he made a sculpture at the starting line at the Marathon, the one of the starter where George Brown is holding the gun up. So, that’s sort of a pretty cool thing about the Hopkinton experience that I was lucky enough to be involved in. I had told him that I really thought this town, when we moved here, I said, ‘We really need a sculpture near the start line, like the doughboy.’ Every town has a doughboy and a gazebo. Really, we need something unique to Hopkinton. So he bought into it and contacted the 26.2 Foundation. [They] agreed as well, and the sculpture ended up as a reality. So every time I drive past it or see it when I’m on the common, I always feel like it’s a permanent part of the town and was originally my idea, basically. It wasn’t just my idea that made it happen, but it’s very fulfilling to see that.”
HI: If you could change one thing about Hopkinton, what would it be?
Chuss: “I feel it’s kind of a ‘stuck’ town in some ways. Sometimes things just don’t want to change. I remember when my kid was in hockey and we were trying to get a hockey rink in town and the political processes just put up every barrier imaginable. … [Also], kind of like every town, [we’re] just not being proactive enough to manage the spiral of growth that’s happening. What brought me here was the nature. I can just see it’s all going to be gone at some point, you know? That’s not unique to Hopkinton. I just wish we were being a little more proactive about dealing with it — and had started sooner.”
— Interview conducted by Gethin Coolbaugh