Us Profile: Dreaming of Tuscany

Denise Conrado, 64, of Colusa is a member of the Colusa City Council.


After living out her dreams of becoming a teacher and raising a family, Colusa resident Denise Conrado now dreams of living in Tuscany for a year to enjoy her retirement and the “fabulous scenery, espresso, wine, pastries, pasta and people.”

Conrado took some time to answer our battery of Us Profile questions.

Name: Denise Conrado. 

Age: 64. 

Residence: Colusa. 

Family: Husband Ed Conrado; daughters: Emily Conrado, Molly Conrado, Sara Azevedo and Katie Conrado; granddaughters: Scarlet, Erin, Juliet and Elena.

Occupation: Semi-retired educator and school administrator.

What’s your music of choice when entering or exiting a room? Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. Always made me wish I had brown eyes.

Hobbies, interests? Spending time with my family/granddaughters, traveling, working out, cooking, reading, gardening, walking the dogs, community involvement. 

What brought you to Colusa County? A job: my husband became the principal of Burchfield Primary School in Colusa 37 years ago. 

What do you like about the Colusa area? I love the quaint, small-town feel of Colusa. It’s a great place to raise a family.

Where would you like to retire to/live for a year? I would love to live in Tuscany for a year. Ed and I took a cycling trip across Tuscany in 2019 and it’s absolutely beautiful. Fabulous scenery, espresso, wine, pastries, pasta and people.

Dream vacation? Cycling, biking, hiking, kayaking – any active vacation where we can also learn about a different culture. We have hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, kayaked the Sea of Cortez, cycled across Costa Rica, Cuba and Italy. We met interesting people from around the world on these trips, while seeing beautiful landscapes and learning how people live.

What is the closest you’ve been to a famous person? I was a poll worker on Nov. 3 and former California Governor Jerry Brown handed me his absentee ballot.

What would you do with a million dollars? Too many ideas to list here.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? A dancer.

Favorite places in the area? When I was a kid my greatest ambition was to become a mother. I fulfilled that ambition!

Favorite places in the area? The levee along the Sacramento River; Colusa Wildlife Refuge; the Sutter Buttes.

Dream job? I had it. I was a teacher.

Memberships in local organizations/groups: Colusa County Strength and Conditioning, Colusa County Democratic Central Committee, Indivisible Colusa County. 

Pet peeve? People who lack grace and humility.

What do you like about yourself? I like that I have become active in supporting and promoting groups and ideas that I believe in. I ran for and was elected to the Colusa City Council in November, which gives me an opportunity to actively contribute to the health and welfare of our city.

What/where is your heaven on earth? During this pandemic our heaven on earth has been an RV site next to the Sacramento River in Rio Vista. We take our travel trailer there as often as we can to watch the river roll by.

Favorite book? I have a couple of stacks of interesting books that I am working through. But my guilty pleasure during this pandemic has been listening to romance novels while I walk the dogs. Great escapism, and I find that I walk the dogs a lot farther.

What movie stops you while flipping through the TV channels? Any Die Hard movie, any Dirty Harry movie.

Favorite musical group/sports team? I am a San Francisco Giants fan by marriage. My favorite musical groups tend to be rhythm and blues types. I grew up loving Motown music – and still do. I love Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Pink, a lot of Lady Gaga. Also the Beatles, Black Eyed Peas, Andre Bocelli, Linda Ronstadt. Tim Flannery and Lunatic Fringe. Some country – Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash.

Who should play you in a movie? Jamie Lee Curtis. People often tell me that I resemble her. I think it’s the hair.

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