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Division: Knowledge and Information Services
Office Location: Williamsburg
Started at NCSC: January 2016
"[I've met] Muhammad Ali. It was at the Kentucky Derby, and I was in college. We were in an enclosed space, and someone asked me if I wanted to meet him, and I said, “Of course!” He motioned to me to give him a kiss on his cheek. I did, and then he acted like I knocked him out. I’ll never forget that.
Blake is one of those people who seems to love wherever she happens to be – Roanoke, Va., where she grew up; Charlottesville, where she attended the University of Virginia; Florence, where she studied abroad; and Williamsburg, where she went to William & Mary Law School and now lives with her husband and three sons – an infant and 7-year-old twins. She also loves that her job allows her to delve into so many different areas, often in the same day.
Is your first name a family name? No, I have two first names: Diana Blake. It’s a Southern thing. But when I started kindergarten, I told my teacher, “My name is Blake.” After that, I became Blake at home and everywhere else.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? The family joke is that I should become a lawyer. I was bossy and argumentative, and I really cared about the rules. I was not much fun on family game night.
What do you like most about your job? I like that the subject matter changes, not just every day but throughout the day. You can go from juvenile justice to complex litigation …to ICE agents in the courthouse – all in one day. That’s what I love about what I do. And the interaction with people, my colleagues and people outside the building.
You have twin boys and an infant, so you might not have any free time, but if you do, what do you like to do? I golf with my husband.
Are you good? (Pause) Well, my older brother is a golf pro, so I have great clubs and shoes. (Laughs.)
What do people find interesting about you when they hear about it for the first time? I like high heights. I’ve climbed Mount Rainier (when she was 17). I’ve bungie-jumped twice (in Australia and in New Zealand). And I’ve gone sky diving. …I won’t do that again until my children are grown-ups.
Have you ever met anyone famous? Muhammad Ali. It was at the Kentucky Derby, and I was in college. We were in an enclosed space, and someone asked me if I wanted to meet him, and I said, “Of course!” He motioned to me to give him a kiss on his cheek. I did, and then he acted like I knocked him out. I’ll never forget that.
What do you like and dislike about Williamsburg? There’s nothing I don’t like about it. It’s a small town. My boys can’t go anywhere without me hearing about it.
Do you collect anything interesting or unusual? No. Actually, I’m an anti-hoarder. I find myself often giving away my husband’s things or my kids’ things. I have an aversion to stuff.
What would you grab – other than your family and your pets – if your house was on fire? Nothing. Everything else can be replaced.