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From the Caribbean to Wyoming for Work

As told by Doolarie Chadee
Big Piney, Wyoming

Story Narrative:

"Okay. My name is Doolarie Chadee and I'm from the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago. My first job was babysitting four kids and cooking and cleaning and doing housework. When they left to go to high school, that is when I quit. I stayed with that family 14 years. Then I applied . . . somebody wanted a babysitter in the United States and I applied for that through the United States Embassy, and I got to come to the United States and lived in Salt Lake City for three months. Then went on to this job in the small suburban town of Holladay, Utah.

And I stayed there for maybe ... I had to sign a contract that I would stay for one year. And I ended up staying for 18 months, a year and a half. Then this lady was so kind . . . do I have to say her name? This lady was so kind, I got a job when they were building the Exxon gas plant up in Wyoming, and she dropped me off here to Evanston, Wyoming, and I stayed there for one year, working at the main camp, cleaning rooms and doing laundry and running the laundromat.

After that I went to the kitchen where they cooked the meals, and I was a server out there, putting out the food out to the people after they dished it up. They dished it up in a plate and you had to go put the plate on the table. After that, I ended up . . . this was in Evanston, Wyoming. Then I ended up . . . I didn't want to go back to Utah, so I ended up in Big Piney, Wyoming, and I've been here 37 years now."

This story was collected in conjunction with the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program and its national traveling exhibition "The Way We Worked" when it was on view in Big Piney, Wyoming in 2018. This story is part of the "Be Here: Main Street" story collection, intended to capture Americans' stories about their neighborhoods, waterways, towns, traditions, and personal experiences.

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