Hi, my name is… Linda Pressman.
I’ve lived in Scottsdale nearly 50 years and I love it because… I fell in love with the desert the minute we moved here. I’ve lived in Scottsdale since 1973 when my family moved here from Chicago. I attended eighth grade at Cocopah and high school at Chaparral, graduating in 1978.

A typical day in my life includes… Exercise, friends, talking to my grown children, talking to a few of my six sisters, writing, and preparing for the Life Stories classes I teach through Scottsdale Arts.

My family is… Close. I am one of seven sisters, four of whom live in Scottsdale, and the rest are nearby. We are lucky to have each other.
One thing I cannot live without is… Jazzercise! I’ve been a member since 1989.

My favorite movie I could never get tired of watching and why… I love musicals, like “Funny Girl” and “My Fair Lady,” and live performances, like “Wicked.” I also love most Jane Austen adaptations.

When I was younger, I wanted to be… A writer and a teacher, among a whole list of occupations. My second memoir was just published called, “Jewish Girls Gone Wild: A Memoir of Skokie, Scottsdale & the Seventies.” It’s a coming-of-age memoir about moving here in 1973, a fish out of water, being a teen in the seventies, and watching my mother navigate her way from being an immigrant in 1949 to becoming a successful real estate agent and trying to change the world one house at a time.

The song I would sing at Karaoke night is… Most any song performed by the great Patsy Cline.

The one person who motivates me is… The memory of my mother, who passed away in 2016 and who was a Holocaust survivor. I feel like the family history was entrusted to me to write and to pass on. I’m a first-generation American who grew up in incredible safety, yet I knew what a contrast my life was to my mother’s. I’m aware of the importance of keeping my family’s stories alive.

The last thing that made me laugh out loud was… Watching “The Golden Girls.” Because of Betty White’s recent passing, I’m streaming the series, which has been a delight and many times makes me laugh out loud.

The perfect day… Is when the weather starts changing in October and the evenings get cool.

My favorite local nonprofits are… Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, New Song Center for Grieving Children, Friendship Circle, the Minkoff Center for Jewish Genetics, and Smile on Seniors.

My life is… Lucky. I’m lucky my family survived WWII. I’m lucky my mother wanted so many children because I was one of the last, number six of seven. I’m lucky to be a brain tumor and breast cancer survivor and that I’m happy and healthy. I’m lucky that I met my husband at a Jewish singles party in 1991 and that we’re heading toward our 30th anniversary.

The best gift I’ve ever received was…That I walked into my first creative writing class at the age of 41 and had Lois Roma-Deeley for my professor, who is now the Poet Laureate of Scottsdale. Dr. Roma-Deeley taught creative writing so beautifully and with so much heart and passion that it changed me forever. I try to bring those same qualities to my teaching through Scottsdale Arts.

My dream vacation would be…To Spain and Portugal during the hottest days of summer here.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received… “All beginnings are hard.” My mother was proof of that and of sheer persistence.