Vitals: John Todd Petit, 44, of Rockford is a data entry specialist for Hawk Models. Petit was born and raised in Rockford, and is a graduate of East High School. Petit was involved in a hit-and-run accident with a drunk driver while on a motorcycle July 28, 1992, which resulted in paralysis from the waist down. He performs his duties for Hawk Models from home.
1. If you could choose any elected official – local, state or national – to speak with one-on-one, who would it be, and what would you say? I would like to speak with all Illinois legislators, and say we should be much more strict on prosecuting drunk drivers. They should spend more time without driving privileges or more time in jail. I know the prisons are at capacity, but the driver who ran me down just got a slap on the wrist, and there was no justice for me. The only thing I got was that I changed my life completely after the wreck. I quit drinking, smoking and living the bad lifestyle I was living from before the wreck.
2. If you were to move away from the Rock River Valley, what three things would you miss the most? I’d miss all the friendly people, the changing seasons, and the familiarity you get from living in your hometown.
3. In regard to safe travel on Rockford’s streets, what advice would you give motorists and cyclists alike? To the motorists, I would say, be more aware that during the summer months, more motorcycles are out and about in the nice weather. To the cyclists, I’d say, wear a helmet. I’m a big fan of the helmet law. If I were wearing a helmet when I was run over, I could’ve avoided much of the head trauma I suffered and wouldn’t have had all the closed-head injuries.
4. What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of working from home? First of all, there aren’t really any drawbacks to working at home. I save the company money by working from home because they don’t have to give me office space or supplies. The benefits are saving money by not having to commute. I live where I work, so I’m close to my workspace. And, it’s much easier to focus and get things done when you are by yourself. There aren’t any of the normal distractions here like in an office.
5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participant Angie Voorhees: Now that summer is unofficially over with the passing of Labor Day, what do you anticipate the most for the upcoming fall season? I enjoy the trees going to sleep for three or four months. Plus, how could I forget about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s 2010, which will be a great year. And, just being alive one more year isn’t too bad, either.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
From the September 9-15, 2009 issue