Jimmie Lyons celebrates her 50th anniversary at the Women’s Institute of Houston. We spoke with her recently about her thoughts and experiences here through the years.
WIH Reporter: Tell us about how you came to the Women’s Institute?
Lyons: It was 1961 when I came to The Women’s Institute, when Miss Ruth Sterling was here. My brother worked here, and told me that the the lady that was working here had to leave, so I came to work here. I have always been well pleased working here. They have treated me so well.
WIH Reporter: You’ve seen a lot of changes. What was it like in the early years?
Lyons: It was a little house on Westgate. We had classes downstairs in the home of Dean Richardson. After Mr. Richardson passed away, the Women’s Institute bought the home and we had classes upstairs also.
WIH Reporter: It appears to us that people don’t know all you do behind the scenes here.
Lyons: There was a lady who brought some cookies from home. She asked Mrs. Webb about adding these cookies for classes at the Women’s Institute. Mrs. Webb said, “Go ask Jimmie, she’s the one who makes these decisions.”
I order all the cookies. I order all the soda and the coffee. One time, when I put one type of cookie on one end, and another kind on the other end, a lady came to me and said, “Jimmie, you are hiding my favorite cookies. You like the other class better. I’m going to have to have to join the other class to get these cookies.”
I’m a jack of all trades. If they need anything, I am here to help. I help in the office. I’ve helped with brochures, answered phones, stapled handouts, and my son Cornell and daughter Lisa have come in to help also. It’s all in the family!