"How do you spell dependable? The Town of Old Lyme spells it with a capital P for Pierson. Whether in his capacity as President of the Old Lyme Volunteer Fire Department, former member of the Town's Planning Commission, or Treasurer of the Lymes' Senior Center Board, Bob Pierson has earned his well-deserved reputation as someone you can count on."
That is how the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen explained its decision to pick Bob Pierson as citizen of the year last night, and Bob Pierson never saw it coming.
Pierson was at the Annual Town Business Meeting last night because there was an important appropriations vote pending to allow the town's emergency services to expand its communications system. He never dreamed he'd be getting this award, he said, although he added that when his wife asked him only three times whether he thought the roads would be safe—rather than "a hundred times"—he probably should have suspected something.
Pierson has lived in Old Lyme since he moved to town as a high school student in the 1950s. He worked at Saunders Garage and served in the Fire Department as a junior firefighter until his graduation from Old Lyme High School in 1964. Pierson received his 50-year pin for active service in the Old Lyme Fire Department, where he currently serves as president, in 2012.
Pierson's 25-year career at Southern New England Telephone made him ideally suited to a number of the committees on which he has served over the years, including the Information Technology committee and committees formed to improve Town Hall phone service.
His wife, Barbara, (who is Deputy Registrar of Voters) frequently calls on him for assistance on Election Day, starting with 4:30 a.m. set-ups and with mass cookie baking sessions over the holidays.
So who are you going to call? In Old Lyme, everyone has Pierson on speed dial!