In continuing to bring our readers new and interesting information about your friends and neighbors, we are presenting our “What’s Your Story” series. This is a Q & A panel of 20 questions that we ask Randolph County Residents. The information is fun facts and good advice from them on various topics. We are interested in seeing what we can learn about our readers in 20 questions! Hope you enjoy!
If you would like to submit your story, send an email request to:
Featured this week is: Ken Madler
Occupation: Business Owner
1. Tell us about your family – spouse, children, grandchildren, pets, etc.
I have been married to Debbie for 22 years. We have a large blended family (5 generations) here with 13 grandkids and 10 great grandkids (at last count). Next grandchild will be born in July & that will be another good family day! I was born & raised in Pittsburgh, PA. My parents & 6 siblings are there with their families.
2. What is your occupation?
Audiologist. I opened Hometown Hearing in June of 2003 and am grateful for the community support of my business. When I first started I was told it was unlikely that I’d be able to develop a business in Randolph County and should establish elsewhere. I’m glad I ignored that and followed my instincts. Winchester and the surrounding communities have allowed me to be productive and I enjoy working here.
3. How many jobs have you had?
Previous work included: working for the street department; roofing; mold/die polishing; swimming pool service; whitewater rafting adventure sales; gunsmith. Least favorite was doing housecleaning and current work is very rewarding as I still look forward to going to work every morning. Favorite was working at the rafting company in the Smoky Mountains in the late 80’s.
4. Other than your family members, who in your life do you most admire?
I’ve always admired our country’s founding fathers... what foresight they had to lay the groundwork for America to develop into a country where many people want to live. Teddy Roosevelt accomplished much. Richard Proenneke (Alaska homesteader) lived life on his terms. Favorite tough guy was Hugh Glass (the mountain man mauled by a bear - his story of determination to overcome overwhelming injuries helps me keep my life in perspective). I have great admiration for the strong character and integrity of my wife Debbie.
5. If you could change the world, what would be your first move?
Change the world? Best to start with the guy in the mirror. Jesus was right about removing the plank from your eye before worrying about someone else’s splinter.
6. What is your best advice for someone to experience happiness?
Happiness comes from within. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then drop it if you can’t improve your perspective about it – then do something else.
7. You just won millions in the lottery. What will you do with the winnings?
Winning millions in the lottery means hiring a tax lawyer and financial advisor to set up long term fund management and create a system that keeps on giving so our families can benefit from our good fortune. Having to do it from some tropical paradise or mountain retreat might be an obstacle to overcome but I’d be willing to make the sacrifice
8. What are 3 things remaining on your bucket list.
Bucket list? Waste of time in my opinion. All we have is the here and now and hopefully have the freedom and liberty do what we want after we’ve done what we have to do.
9. What is the best technological invention from the 1950’s forward?
Best recent technological invention? Probably antibiotics. (Pencils are GOAT.)
10. What is something that very few people know about you?
Something that might not be well known about me? My reliance on the wheelchair is not from amputations but paralysis at age 21.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Pet peeves include expansive unfunded government programs; any advertising that depicts men as helpless/foolish; seeing pets being treated better than some of the people who live in the same home.
12. What is your favorite memory?
Favorite memory is a toss up between going the batting cycle at age 14 against a pitcher who bullied me when I was 9 vs. the day Debbie & I married.
13. If you found a time machine that would take you back for one day, when would that be? Why?
Time travel? I’d like to go back to the time before “America” was settled to see what this country looked like in it’s completely natural state (pre 1800’s).
14. What is the biggest misconception about you?
That my reliance on the wheelchair is due to amputation.
15. What is your favorite place to dine within the boundaries of Randolph County?
We rarely dine out, but The Chocolate Moose is very good.
16. Have you always lived in the Randolph County area? If not where else?
I have been in Randolph County since 1996. Before that, I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and also spent some time in Muncie.
17. Your biggest contribution to society?
My biggest contribution to society is staying employed and therefore paying taxes. There are a lot of people (and politicians) whom I haven’t met that rely on me to go to work everyday.
18. Most important rule in life?
A good life rule is to keep expectations of others not too high (maybe that contributes to happiness?)
19. Biggest “Game Changer” in your life?
Biggest game changer in my life was the understanding (make that epiphany, as defined by Webster) that a sudden, traumatic, life changing physical or emotional injury brings out the core essence of your personality. Such an event amplifies whatever existing driving force that is within you & makes you who you are. This trait (whatever it is) is not optional, cannot be suppressed, and is what bubbles to the surface. It is what impresses people about you (good or bad).
20. Will you retire from your current job?
Retirement not an option at this time (even if a big lottery ticket hits) as I enjoy working. Besides, I have a terrific boss.
Five Fun Facts:
Can you dance?
Never had the moves.
6-12 month tour/safari to Africa, Alaska,or New Zealand.
Mom’s apple sheet cake layered with caramel and custard.
The reliable one...don’t care what it looks like so long as it’s dependable.
Favorite type of music?
Most genres are good, but I like bluegrass and Goldfrapp.