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She was a figure skater in line for Olympics

posted Sep 5, 2014, 4:34 PM by Joyce Evans
You might know Linda Collier as PSAR’s affiliate representative on the PSAR board of directors for 2013 and 2014. She is in her second year of her two-year term. Linda also is a member of PSAR’s Local District Coordinating Committee (LLCC) representing the East County. She also serves on organizing committees for several PSAR special events, including the annual golf tournament and Unfashion Show on Sept. 25. She has more than 30 years of experience in mortgage lending.
 
But did you know that her nickname among a few PSAR friends is “The Burrito Thrower?” The moniker may sound cute but the story behind the name involved a threat to Linda’s own life from an angry driver with a bad case of road rage.
 
“Several years ago, we had a morning meeting at PSAR in El Cajon and I agreed to bring several dozen breakfast burritos,” said Linda. “The customer behind me at the taco shop got mad because he had to wait until my big order was ready. So, he started following me in his car that had no license plates. He pulled next to my car, calling me names, shouting obscenities and making hand gestures. Somewhere along Winter Gardens Boulevard, I threw a burrito at him out my car window and yelled back, `If you want a burrito so badly, here’s one, buddy.’”
 
The driver continued to follow Linda into the parking lot of the PSAR East County Service Center on Broadway in El Cajon.  Linda called for help on her cell phone. When several PSAR members ran out to the parking lot, the driver sped away.
 
“I was very scared and upset as I was telling what happened,” said Linda. “But, when I mentioned throwing a burrito at him, I started laughing, so did everyone else, and the name has stuck ever since.”
 
Linda grew up in El Cajon, attending W.D. Hall Elementary School, Greenfield Middle School and Granite Hills High School (class of 1980). She was a competitive figure skater from age 5 to 17, and an Olympic hopeful. She spent her junior year of high school living and training in Colorado, and finished fourth in that year’s national competition. She quit skating because Olympic rules prohibited her from competing in amateur competitions while performing in touring skating shows at the same time. Plus, she wanted to spend more time at home with her family and friends.
 
Her first job at age 18 was at a pet store located in the Gemco parking lot on Graves Avenue in El Cajon. Gemco was a U.S. chain of membership department stores that operated from 1959 to 1986. The building is now a Target story. Another job at age 20 was calling people who had checks that bounced. She then started her lending career and spent 15 years with Wells Fargo Bank before joining So Cal Direct Lending in December 2013.
 
Linda met her husband Randy at a high school graduation party. Linda and Randy were married in 1983. Randy is an iron worker who has worked on several skyscrapers in Downtown San Diego, as well as Petco Park.
 
They have three children, including: Clint, a son, 24, who serves in the U.S. Coast Guard; Haylie, a daughter, 21, who attends college; and another daughter, Katie, 12, who attends Tierra del Sol Middle School in Lakeside and plays on a traveling softball team. “Our youngest was a surprise,” said Linda. “She was born the same month as my 40th birthday, she was a special birthday present.”
 
The family enjoys traveling. They have visited Europe, Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean. They also have gone snow skiing at Mammoth, in Colorado at Breckenridge and Vail and Park City, Utah.  They have gone water skiing at Lake Havasu, Lake Powell and San Vincente.
 
Linda enjoys her PSAR family. “I love PSAR because we take care of each other like family members. Also, we are involved in helping charities and the neighborhoods where we live and work. Involvement and participation in our communities is key to making our region a better place for everyone.”

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Don’t forget to read next week’s story. Hint: He ran marathons at age 59 and 60.
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