The first production code I wrote was a reversible encryption routine in COMPASS for a mail utility that relied on globally writable shared files, to reduce the likelihood of abuse of the utility. The original mail system had been written by John Bennett and was maintained by Fred Whiteside, who showed me the wonders of the language simply because I asked.
My first job after graduating from McMaster with my Computer Science and Systems degree was developing and maintaining a suite of tests for the C/370 compiler that used the ANSI standard which was still under revision at the time. Because I held the job for less than 6 months, I tend not to list it on my resume.
I owe a great debt to my father, who made time to do important things with and for me, involved me in all the maintenance tasks a boy should learn as he grows to manhood, and encouraged me to work hard to excel even when I was ahead of any visible competition.
Now that I'm nominally eligible to be an astronaut (which has been a lifelong unattainable goal), I wonder whether I should bother to apply for the two open positions with the Canadian Space Agency.
One of the people I admire greatly is my younger daughter, who has gone through hell yet is both compassionate and well loved by many. It was hard on me when I had limited resources to help her, though in retrospect I accomplished much that still helps others in similar circumstances.
I played a small role in the maintenance of Usenet after the Great Renaming as a way of giving back to the communities where I found more seemingly kindred folk than I ever did in real life.
Joining Mensa as a teenager was an eye-opening experience. I am glad I quit.
Not all of these answers are suitable for a phone screen (which mode of interview I dislike because I rely heavily on visual as well as audible cues to interact effectively with people -- yet my professional writing is reportedly exceptionally clear, albeit not executed in real time).