In movies, we root for a leading character that is goal-oriented because he earns our trust. For many years, broadcast journalist C.J. Ward has untiringly investigated businesses that take advantage of the consumer for the KEYT newsteam. In so doing, he’s won numerous honors, but more importantly, he’s earned the respect of our community. C.J. also co-anchors the evening news with his wife Beth Farnsworth, and there’s so much integrity between them two — and they’re dashing to boot!
Here, the intrepid reporter answers the Proust Questionnaire.
What do you like most about your job?
I love doing the tip line stories that help people solve their problems, big or small. It also makes me feel good that viewers trust me enough to reveal very personal information about their lives and their struggles.
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Greed, and I’m not talking about ‘Shark Tank’ greed. I’m talking about people who blatantly rip someone off and when they get caught say, “Oh, I’m just trying to survive.” What do you think the people you ripped off were trying to do?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m not afraid to take calculated risks. There is something exciting and scary about changing direction in life if you believe there is something better out there. But the goal has to be achievable.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Waking up on a Saturday morning, having coffee with my wife, hanging out with my daughters, and catching fun waves in the afternoon.
Who do you most admire?
I admire my wife, Beth. She’s an amazing co-worker, wife, and mother. She’s caring and fun and I’m getting some serious “date night” points for writing this.
What is your greatest fear?
Watching my 17-year old daughter get behind the wheel of a car when she’s late for an appointment. Scares the #$%& out of me.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably my car. When my oldest daughter got her license, she took the car I drove for 20 years and I bought an old Porsche. I’ve always wanted one. I love it and I will probably have to sell it to pay her college tuition.
What is your current state of mind?
As I get older, I find that I have less patience for BS. Everything from drivers who tailgate to people who think they know what they’re talking about but really don’t. I guess I’m turning into a crotchety old man at 52. Everything gets better though, when I see the ocean and hear the seagulls.
What is the quality you most like in people?
I like people who are nice. I know it sounds simple, but it’s so depressing when you meet someone who just can’t find anything pleasant about their life and those around them.
What do you most value in friends?
Memories and just being able to talk candidly about things without getting into a politically correct frenzy. I just get to be myself. Many of my best friends live in different cities many miles away. Sometimes we don’t talk for months or longer, but when we do it seems like we just talked yesterday.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Gimme a break.” And here’s one my daughters always laugh at and make fun of: “brand spankin’ new.”
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could sing. Honestly, when I’m alone in my car I sound just like Jon Bon Jovi or Springsteen. But when people are around I just lose my voice. It must be nerves.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I had good knees again. I miss playing pickup basketball.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Marrying the right lady and having two amazing girls. And I’m not just saying that for more “date night” points.
Where would you most like to live?
Right here in Santa Barbara. I grew up in Buffalo and worked all over the country including seven hot years in Phoenix. That should give you some perspective.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have an old chest that my great-grandfather brought over from Scotland 100 years ago. It probably held everything he owned and his initials are spelled out in tacks on the side. When I look at it I think about the poverty and the coal mines he worked in starting at the age of 10. I also wonder what he would think about the life I have now because of the risks he took.
Who makes you laugh the most?
I think Jon Stewart is hilarious. And this may show how pathetic I really am, but I like watching those late night commercials for the Dean Martin Roasts. I can’t believe I just admitted that.
What is your motto?
Never make four easy payments of $29.95 for anything sold on TV after midnight.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I know I’m not black and can’t relate to the discrimination he fought against, but the first time I heard his “I Have a Dream” speech, I cried.
On what occasion do you lie?
If someone accuses me of eating the last Pop-Tart or if they accuse me of being the last one in the bathroom.