ONE ON ONE | Gilbert Rucker Discipline and service are music to attorney's ears
How did you end up in Trumbull County?
I moved here because my wife is from the area. I must say that I'm glad we did move here, though. I like Warren and enjoy the area for several reasons. One, I think the small-town atmosphere is good for my children. I also think this area has a lot of opportunities. I think people in the community are now pushing to make this area realize its full potential. There is a lot of activity and a lot of programs being offered here.
Don't you help out with a program at the Rebecca Williams Center?
Yes, I do, and it's a great program -- not just because I help with it, though. It's a martial-arts class that is run by Jack Williamson. It's a very, very good program for the youth and for adults. Mr. Williamson is very committed to giving the proper training, and it's offered on Wednesday evening at 5:30. It's open to the public, and the best part is, it is free. I help him with instruction, and it's a lot of fun. It's great for parents because they can take part in the program with their children. That is what I liked about it. Plus, I think this sort of activity helps teach respect and discipline. It gives children a chance, at an early age, to set a goal and strive toward that accomplishment.
You are also involved in other sports activities for children, aren't you?
I sure am. I sponsor a baseball team for the Warren Little League, which is for ages 6-12, and I assist with the Warren Little Raiders, which is for the same age group.
That seems like a lot of work. Why did you decide to do it?
I truly believe that children are really our future, and if they are messed up at a young age, they stand a better chance of being messed up at an older age. So I believe in proper training and discipline. Sports activities are a great way to get that training. Plus, I'd rather see the children on the football and baseball field than in the courtroom.
I guess it's obvious that you must like structure and discipline. I noticed that you went to the Naval Academy. What made you decide to do that?
I don't know exactly why, but I always wanted to be in the military. I really enjoy consistency and structure, and that's what you get at the academy. I would suggest the military to anyone. I think the discipline is good, and the military offers a lot of opportunity.
You are still involved in the Naval Reserve, right?
Oh, yes. I am a commander in the supply corps, which is the business end of the Navy. We are responsible for feeding and supplying the troops.
Were you overseas during the Gulf War?
Oh, yes. I was stationed in several places, including Saudi Arabia. There was quite a bit to do. I was responsible for making sure that the ships were fueled, loaded and unloaded. I had to make sure that the ships all had the port clearances.You were there in 1991. Did you think that America would be back over there again?
I guess I'm not surprised we are there. I don't think we comprehend the attitudes and history of that area. The thought process of the people there is not the same as ours. It's a very, very different culture.
So when you are not in the military, you are a lawyer. Is that something you always wanted to do?
No, no, no. I wanted to be a surgeon, but I changed my mind because I didn't want to get up at all hours to rush to the hospital. So I switched to law because I love the mental exercise. I love trying to find solutions to people's problems by researching and reading various laws.
So in your spare time, I hear you are a musician.
Well, let's just say that I play the trumpet. I have a lot of friends who are in a band, and I have the opportunity to play with them when they let me.
What type of music do you enjoy playing?
I like jazz and classical, and I find that playing music helps me connect more with my emotions. I guess you could say it's the "feel" side of me. It's a way for me to get in touch with the side of me that doesn't come out at work. Now that I think about it, if I could have chosen to be anything, I would have chosen to be a classical musician. My dream would be to play with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Oh, that would be the dream job. I would give all this up if I could be a classical musician, but I would have to be a good one.