I Am Collingswood: Joseph Degenhart
What does 10-year-old Joseph Degenhart love about his hometown? 'We can always hear the bells ringing and we can always hear the train, even in our sleep.'
When he's not swimming or playing basketball, 10-year-old Joseph Degenhart is commanding an audience. He'll take the stage in the upcoming Collingswood Youth Theater production of Jack and the Giant, he's learning the saxophone—and he doesn't mess around with his grades.
Collingswood Patch: So how long have you lived in Collingswood?
Joseph Degenhart: For 10 years.
Patch: Do you like living here?
Degenhart: Yes, I like that there's a ton of stores up there, there's a library, there's the Collingswood Music store; I go there to get my reeds for my sax.
Patch: How long have you been playing?
Degenhart: About three months.
Patch: What songs can you play?
Degenhart: "Hot Cross Buns" and "Jolly Old Saint Nick"!
Patch: If a child came here from another country, and they asked you, “What are kids from Collingswood like?” What would you tell him?
Degenhart: That we're kind, fun, friendly kids!
Patch: Would you like to live here when you grow up?
Degenhart: I would like to live here because my friends might still be here and I want to see them. And I want to see what the town will look like when I grow up.
Patch: How do you think it's going to change in the future?
Degenhart: Probably there'll be another toy store since the old one got ripped down. More grass and flowers, because they might clear out some more space. And probably three more parking lots.
Patch: Is that what you'd like to see more of in town, grass and flowers?
Degenhart: Yeah, because there's this little gravel spot that's near the library that doesn't have any grass. It used to have sunflowers growing there, but now it's all gravel. I'd like to see a little park, maybe a little dog park for my dog Rio. Because there's no other dog parks in Collingswood.
Patch: What would you like to do when you grow up?
Degenhart: Well, I have two visions of myself: either I'll be building Legos—I would design them, and try to make new creations and ideas for Legos—or being into architecture and building other things.
Patch: Who are your role models in your life? Who do you look up to?
Degenhart: My mom, my dad and my friends. They stand up for me.
Patch: Tell me one thing that makes you really happy and one thing that makes you really mad.
Degenhart: Well, right now I see no leaves on the trees which makes me mad, but the happy thing is that all my friends and family, they're just like blossoms on the trees.
Patch: What's your favorite thing about living in Collingswood?
Patch: And you're an actor too! Tell me about your involvement in Collingswood Youth Theater.
Degenhart: I've been in 3 plays so far, and in this one coming up, I play a chicken! It's Jack and the Giant, it'll be coming in the spring.
Patch: You're one of the most well-rounded 4th graders I've ever met.
Degenhart: And I'm getting good grades on my tests! I don't like to mess around.
Patch: You don't mess around, eh?
Degenhart: Not much!
Patch: Is there anything else you'd like people to know?
Degenhart: That this is a wonderful place and I love it! And since we live nearby a church we can always hear the bells ringing, and we can always hear the train, even in our sleep!