"My name is Helena Lynn. I have lived practically all of my life in Big Piney. I lived on a ranch, so my first jobs were milking cows, and feeding the chickens, and working in the hay field, but you don't get paid for those jobs, so my first real job, I went to college for four years to become a teacher of Home Ec. Well at the end of the school year, I didn't have a job. Most of the girls in my class had a job teaching for the next year. The day of graduation, I was still without a job. The lady from the extension office in the University of Wyoming, she called me and she offered me a job as a home demonstration agent in Gillette, Wyoming.
On that day, I graduated from college, I got a job, and my folks bought me a new car. First car I ever had, so that was a very exciting time. In Gillette, it was fun. We took care of the 4-H clubs, and the Homemakers clubs, and I had 17 4-H clubs to look about, and 13 Homemakers clubs, so I went to a lot of meetings. I learned a lot. Probably more than all the people that I was working with, but I enjoyed that so much, and I worked there for two years. Then I got married, and I've worked ever since, but not on a paying job."
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.