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Getting to Know You

with Roberta Croteau

Name and any story behind how you got it…

Roberta Marie—Roberta after my dad, Robert, and Marie to honor both grandmothers, Maria and Mary. My mom was a fan of Petticoat Junction and wanted to make Bobbie happen for me, and some ancient relatives still call me that. But it never really stuck.


May 8, 1964—born the exact same day as Melissa Gilbert of Laura Ingalls fame. Also share my birthday with our Karen! Oh, and I was born in the same hospital as Michael J. Fox, in Edmonton, Alberta. I include this info to make Crystal jealous.

Your family…

Oh, so little of it left. Just a few cousins and an aunt in Canada. Luckily, I have an Art & Soul family now! And two snuggly kitties, Frankie and Georgie.

Art & Soul

I started coming to CADP in 2017—I came as a friend of Elinor’s who was curious what this place she loved was all about. I hope she won a goldfish! I became a member at the end of 2018.

A favorite Art & Soul memory…

Many times, visiting during open studio times or after a class and laughing uncontrollably at whatever fun ensued. “Oranges.” (That one’s for you, Elinor!)

Last TV show you binge-watched?

Blown Away, a reality competition with incredible glass blowers. Karen told me about it!

Most recent read…

Brandi Carlile’s memoir, Broken Horses. I recommend!

Movie you love…

Back to the Future is one I’ll watch any time it comes on.

Guilty pleasures…

Bachelor in Paradise, Amazon, a ridiculous game on my phone called FISHDOM. (Currently rocking Level 1422!)

Favorite vacation…

First Disneyland visit, 1970. Pure magic. (This is me and my dad at Disney.)

Favorite holiday…

Christmas! Especially white ones.

Favorite food…

You haven’t eaten until you’ve tried the Russian/Ukranian staples of my childhood—all with names I don’t know how to spell. But they were spectacular.

“Your” song…

Well, I wrote this question and now discover it’s weirdly worded, especially for someone without an SO. But an emotional song for me is Anne Murray’s “Could I Have This Dance.” My mom loved this song, and at my Farewell Party when I was moving away from home to Vancouver, my aunts told me to play it for them on the piano. So I did. When I turned around at the end, all of them, including my mother, were crying. I can never hear the song without seeing that scene and feeling a tug on my heart.

Something you’d like to learn in the next year…

Whatever new art classes we are offering! I love discovering new ways to use my bazillion art supplies!

The photo above is me with my cousins and our "farm cars."

Craziest thing you believed as a kid…

We often visited/stayed on the farm where my mother grew up even after my grandparents were gone. I somehow developed a worry that Bigfoot would show up while we were there. Keep in mind this was on flat Alberta prairie/wheatfield. I later traded that concern for the big city bank robbers who would be escaping with their loot, see our farmhouse, and think it was an unoccupied hideaway place for them.

Here are the keys to a time machine. When are you going to first?

I think about this ALL THE TIME. I LOVE Time Travel! For personal fun, I’d like to go back to when my parents were kids and watch them growing up. And then any historical event I can think of—without screwing up the space-time continuum, of course.

What makes you laugh?

People falling. (Only when there are no serious injuries. I’m not a monster.) I love it even more when people tell the story of how they fell and what they were thinking on the way down. Cracks me up every time.

What superpower would you like to have?

Teleportation. Then Scotty could beam me through all of Europe without the hassle of planes, trains and automobiles.

How old were you when you had your first celebrity crush and who was it?

My undying love for Donny Osmond started around age 8 or 9. I planned to marry him—until he got married TO SOMEONE ELSE on May 8th—my 13th BIRTHDAY! He didn’t wait for me! I did get to meet him much later when a friend was producing his Christmas album. I visited him in the studio—and he was the NICEST guy in the world. Treated me like an old friend. (I never mentioned my broken heart to him.)


What is your idea of perfect happiness?


What is your greatest fear?

In FDR’s words, I fear fear itself.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Whatever it’s called that runs rampant in televangelists and Trumpsters.

Which living person do you most admire?

All the good ones.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books, glorious books!

What is your current state of mind?

I’m in the calm after the storm of having too much on my plate. So now “Everything is beautiful and nothing hurt.”

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Wow. Fun. Cool.

What is your motto?

I don’t live by it yet, but I’m working on it: “Let it go.”

What is your most treasured possession?

Dolly Croteau. Blame that name on my mom. She was a gift for my first birthday, and for the rest of my childhood, she was with me wherever I went. She still sits on the bookcase in my bedroom.

“Dreamer of Dreams”—my most recent Art & Soul project, created at Lisa Binder’s “Collage on Wood Panel” class!


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