Russel Sparks (yes, that is his real name) is from Chappaqua, New York, home to both Hillary Clinton and Kol HaBirah’s very own Bari Perlmutter. Russel went to Carnegie Mellon University and works as a patent examiner. He has lived in Maryland and DC but currently resides in Rosslyn, Virginia, right across the Key Bridge from Georgetown, where he attends services at Kesher Israel.
What should every person try at least once in their lifetime?
Skiing. Definitely skiing.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I recently bought an old nightstand, sanded off the peeling paint, and gave it a new finish of wood stain. It looks beautiful now.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Hey, this isn’t kindergarten — I’m a grown-up right now.
What is the best advice you have been given?
It’s not where you start out that matters, it’s how hard you work to get where you want to go.
If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Lively, dedicated, organized, understanding, and collected.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Definitely skiing off a frozen waterfall. My family goes to a ski area in Vermont called Mad River Glen, which is known (among other things) for being the most challenging ski area east of the Mississippi River. They have a trail with a six-foot waterfall in the middle that you have to ski over. I skied that trail once, went over the waterfall, and then decided that I had no need to do it a second time.
Which app do you use most frequently?
A news app. I’m always reading the news.
Where would you like to travel to next?
Some place cold and snowy with mountains.
Something most people don’t know about me is:
Interview by Batya H. Carl