[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Community
Published Sun, Feb 03, 2013 10:04 AM
Modified Wed, Feb 06, 2013 08:06 PM

Five Minutes With ... Ben McCallum

Email Print Order Reprint
Share This
Text

tool name

close x
tool goes here

Ben McCallum was born in Boston but grew up in St. Louis. He and his wife Lauren have been in Clayton for 12 years and have three children.

Q: Where are you from?

I was born in Boston. Then we lived in Wilson for two years and I grew up in St. Louis.

Q: How did you get to Clayton?

When we lived in Wilson my parents used to go to the beach-- Topsail. My mom always loved Topsail. So we moved to St. Louis and such, but my mom always loved Topsail. So I moved here to go to N. C. State University. We came to Raleigh, but Topsail was still close.

Q: What did you major in at State?

Not much. I majored in a lot of fun.

Q: That happens. What do you do for a living now?

My father was in the packaging business and I am as well. I don’t work for the same company that he did. We do food packaging. My accounts are about $500,000 and down. I sell the primary packaging, film, direct contact pieces. I was in the corrugated side for 15 years and now I’m in a more specialized field. I travel with a chemist and people like that. I don’t know the science behind it, but I can get them in the door.

Q: Your dad did that too?

He was just straight corrugated, what you call cardboard. That was why we traveled around.

Q: How did you meet Lauren?

I met her at State. She was at Meredith and then went to State.

Q: How long have you all been married?

Fifteen years. We have three kids, two boys and a girl. Connor is 13, Jackson is 10 and Claire Darby is 8.

Q: What do you like to do for fun? Do you still like to go to the beach?

Not as much. Just on vacation. With three kids I don’t have a lot of time to do much. I golf when I can. I like to go hiking.

Q: Where do you go to hike?

I like to go with Stewart (McLeod) and his buddies on the Appalachian Trail. They do some really serious hiking. They don’t invite me too often.

Q: Tell me about golfing.

I just do it recreationally. I used to be more into it, but now it’s just a social thing. I play anywhere I get a chance.

Q: What do you like to do on a free day off?

Get together with friends and play golf. Then I like to cook out. Keep it simple. Nothing real fancy.

Q: Do you like to travel?

My work requires some travel, but most of it is local. I did get to take my oldest son to Boston to a Red Sox game this summer. Then I got to take him down to the State/Tennessee game in Atlanta. So it’s more she’ll take one, I’ll take one. There aren’t many big family trips. It’s easier to divide and conquer. I tell you, the kids do more traveling than Lauren and I do with grandparents. The grandparents are in Chapel Hill. Lauren’s mom moved to Cary.

Q: Do you see your parents often?

My dad and I try to meet for lunch once a week or so. They’ll take a kid for camp, but three’s tough. I can’t handle three, so I know they can’t. They’re getting up in age. Lauren’s mom has been good too.

Q: What would you do if you won the lottery?

I would move to the coast. Not so much on the beach, but I love the Wilmington area. There’s golf and fishing. Even Morehead City. Some friends of ours take us fishing a lot. I’d love to be near the coast. Lauren has always wanted to live in Florida. I just want to be somewhere near the coast.

Q: I hear that you are quite the character. Tell me some of your stories.

I don’t know where to go with that one. Feel free to embellish. I told you I have nothing to offer. I told you I’m just a dad and an employee.

Q: Do you like to read?

I read a tremendous amount. I read crime noir stuff. I read about a book a week. But it’s all in that same vein. James Lee Burke and Robert Crais. If you like Lee Child you’ll like Robert Crais.

Q: Do you cook?

No. Just grill out, usually with a bunch of people. We’ve got a good group and we usually get together once or twice a month. People will cook out or do oysters. Something like that. We do stuff with the kids.

Q: Why did you choose to live in Clayton since you can live anywhere with your job?

I was living in Raleigh and while I was on a golf trip to Ireland Lauren found the place in Clayton. She said, “I found a place on a golf course,” and I said, “Let’s go.” I had never heard of Clayton. We really love it here. I can’t imagine raising a family anyplace else.

Q: So how would Lauren describe you?

I don’t know. You’d have to ask her.

Q: Which of your three children is most like you?

I don’t know. That’s hard because they are all so different. I guess Connor.

Q: Why do you say he’s most like you?

Because he’s really easy going and doesn’t let much get to him. They are all great kids.

Q: Besides golf did you play any other sports growing up?

I played baseball. I played for one year in college at Allegheny State in Meadville, PA.

Q: Why did you leave Allegheny State?

I was done. I went to Ireland and lived there for a year and then went to State.

Q: Why did you choose Ireland?

I went for work. Beer. The company my dad was with was based in Dublin and they had an exchange program.

Q: How nice. What company was that?

Smurfit.

Q: What did you like best about Ireland?

I played golf and drank beer for a year. It was neat. I lived with an Irish family.

Q: How did you find the family?

Someone placed you with a family. Two of their kids came over here and worked in Wilson at the box plant and I worked in a box plant over there.

Q: Sounds like you got the better end of that deal.

Well, they really loved it here. They got to go to the beach every weekend.

Q: Have you kept up with the family you lived with?

Yes. With social networking I’ve been able to. I’ve been back since to see them three or four times.

Q: Did you ever think about moving to Ireland?

I would have loved to. It was a fantastic economy back then, but now it’s a financial disaster. Where we used to play golf was the same club where they play the Ryder Cup. It was beautiful.

Correspondent Holly Lock

Explore, like and interact with our new Facebook page, which features the best of our day's news.

Email Print Order Reprint
Share This
Text

tool name

close x
tool goes here
We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Read our full comment policy.
More Community

Images

Print Ads