Fishsticks – Catherine Capriles

Hi MVM, here is our Fishsticks of the Week featuring Catherine Capriles

Where were you born: I was born right here in Mountain View at El Camino Hospital. In fact, I once again live with my parents who are still in the same house that they bought back in 1966 (they have upgraded and expanded the home over the past 50 years).

Where did you grow up: I grew up in Mountain View. In fact I am old enough to remember the cherry orchards and open fields prior to highway 85, Grant Road housing and everything around the El Camino Real/Grant Road intersection. Downtown used to be quite uninviting and run down before the City rebuilt it and created an amazing place to hang out. This town has really graduated into a city, which is good (I guess for all the amenities) and bad (I miss the slower pace and fewer people).

Where did you go to school: I attended Springer School, Pinewood Private School and St. Francis High School all while swimming for Los Altos Aquatic Club (now LAMVAC). I earned a swimming scholarship to UCLA, but in 1988 I transferred to UCSD, which was a DIII school at the time. I graduated in 1991 with a BA in Theater.

What did you do for a career: I am currently retired from a paying job, but I am a full-time caretaker for my Mom (80) and Dad (85). My Dad had a stroke about 6 years ago and his mobility is limited. Before I retired in 2018, I was a firefighter with the Palo Alto Fire Department. Over my 25 year career I held the ranks of firefighter, engineer, Captain and Deputy Chief. I was an active union member and served on the board for several years before I promoted to DC. Now I do various things to keep me busy and engaged: I coach high school swimming (St. Francis) and water polo (St. Francis and Fremont), drove a school bus (St. Francis), and finally use my degree in theater as a stage manager for SJCMT (San Jose Children’s Musical Theater). And I am currently qualifying to become a USA swimming official.

Fun facts: Hmmm…fun facts….I have travelled to nearly 100 countries and 20 US states. As a firefighter I was an EMT, but I dropped out of paramedic school when I lost a very close friend in a fire (she was a Houston firefighter and only 30 years old). I lost one dog, Copper (a 100lb Rhodesian Ridgeback) to cancer in 2009; now I own two tiny dogs: Max (13 lbs) and Cindy Lou (15 lbs). Both are pound puppies and were Christmas gifts from my Mom and Dad just 10 month ago. I don’t have kids of my own, but I spoil my 7 nephews and 2 nieces rotten! I missed qualifying for the US Olympic Team in 1988 by 6 places and less than 5 seconds in the 200 m backstroke. [See attached for picture of Catherine.]

One more item from Catherine regarding a fundraiser for suicide prevention:
This is a “Go Fund Me” for John Preston, who will be walking over 700 miles with 22kg on his back to raise money for military/first responder PTSD/suicide awareness. 22kg = 22 suicides/day! John is a current Palo Alto Firefighter and a Marine veteran who has PTSD. His brother was also a military veteran and a police officer with a family who took his own life just a few years ago. There is a video on the Go Fund Me page that goes into more detail on what John is doing.

22 and You: First Responder Suicide Awareness, organized by John Preston

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