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Take Five: Rep. David Jolly

Jolly (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Jolly (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.  

This week, Senate hopeful and Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., talks about playing the piano, his favorite water sports hobbies and how he got into politics. Q: I hear you’re an avid pianist. When did you learn how to play the piano?  

A : It is a very little known secret that I’ve been playing the piano since, boy, I was probably five or six years old. And it’s just something that for me is a bit of an escape and something I enjoy and I think is a lifetime interest, if you will. Here’s a true story: While I can read music, I never do. I just sit down and I start playing and it’s different every time.  

Q : I know you were very close with your predecessor, Rep. C.W. Bill Young. What kind of bond did you have?  

A : You know, after 20 years, you begin to look at somebody like Mr. Young as family. Certainly, he was a father figure, he was a mentor and I will tell you now that I guess I’ve had just about every job on Capitol Hill. Now, being in the member’s chair, there are many days when I will learn lessons of being a member and I will look back and it all makes sense. I understand why Mr. Young made certain decisions that he did.  

Q : If you could have any occupation, what would you choose?  

A : I would own a wave running shop in Pinellas County, Fla. The problem with that is, it is always a failing enterprise with depreciating equipment and renting to tourists who never want to come back, so there’s not much of a business model behind it.  

Q : When you’re home, are you into water sports?  

A : Wave running is probably one of my great water sport hobbies and the bigger the waves, the better. I’m not interested in getting out on lakes or on still water. I wait for storms to come in and for the waves to build. I have also spent time surfing and look forward now to, with my wife (Laura Donahoe) beginning to take up paddleboarding. We were just at a Guy Harvey charity event, the researcher and artist, and I ended up picking up a Guy Harvey paddleboard. Now that we have it, we gotta use it, right?  

Q : What do you miss the most about Florida when you’re in D.C.?  

A : I live in a coastal community so I say, every day in Florida is a good day. The community that I’m fortunate to call home is a beach community with great water sport options, great fishing. It’s also a region that has an incredibly developing art scene. [The Salvador Dalí Museum] is an incredible gem for our area.

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