With the vision of the famed Organ Mountains to the East, MobileBooth West opened to the public outside the Wal-Mart on Lohman Avenue in Las Cruces, NM. This day marked two “firsts” for StoryCorps: our first stop in New Mexico and our first time parking outside of Wal-Mart.
Despite the hustle-bustle of the crowd and the busy Wal-Mart parking lot, several of those gathered took on our StoryCorps practice of listening closely.
A gem of a lady graced MobileBooth West for our first interview in Las Cruces. Ninety-five-year-old Gwendolyn Jones came with her daughter Gayle Lewis and revealed herself to be as humble as she is extraordinary.
A woman ahead of her times, Gwendolyn went to college as soon as she could, attending the University of Kansas at the early age of 16. When Gayle asked Gwendolyn what her parents thought of her going off to college as a young women in 1928, Gwendolyn said she didn’t wait to find out. They went off to work, and when they returned she had already left for school. “I was determined to go,” she said. She continued with the same initiative in her career in social work and then as a teacher, always working out of the home, even as she raised her family.
Gwendolyn has quite a lot to smile about and her joy was infectious. Here she exits MobileBooth West with the help of facilitator Rachel Falcone and KRWG Morning Edition Host Carrie Hamblen.
Special thanks to KRWG Development Director Ford Ballardfor providing photos of our Opening Day events.