I moved to Georgetown in the summer of 2018 and one of the first people I met was Linda over at the Georgetown Scott County Tourism office. I was looking for places locally and figured the tourism office was my best bet. Linda was a true delight and pointed me in the right direction and also filled me in on the area attractions. Since, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with her a few more times and decided to sit down with her and find out more about her personally.
Linda joined the tourism office the end of June in 2008. She had moved to the area in 2006 from Northern Virginia to be with an ill family member. In January of 2007 she decided that she wanted to go back to work and started looking.
What is your background? What did you do before coming on board at the tourism office?
“I’ve worked all my life, since I was 16 years old. When I was in high school, I went to school half a day and worked half the day. When I graduated, I went to work for the DC Department of Corrections – I was 18. I was the youngest person working for them at the time and that was in 1967. At that time they employed about 3000 people and I was the youngest person in the agency, and there were very few women at the time working in the prison system. It was mostly men unless you were at a women’s facility. I started out in the personnel department. It was me and one other guy. I worked in the Department of Corrections for 32 years and during that time I worked at a number of facilities. I was at various facilities during my career, always advancing. I was in at the maximum security facility for a while and then I went to the minimum security facility, which is where I retired from. I had worked my way up there from being the secretary for the warden to the staff assistant, which was a new position they had created. I started out a DS3 and retired a DS11.
How did you end up in the tourism field?
“So I was looking through the paper one day and there was this little ad, it wasn’t anything major, just a little ad off to the side. It was for the tourism office and they were looking for someone to work weekends. And I said well, I don’t care when I work. I’d personally rather work the weekends then the weekdays since that is normally when you have appointments with doctors and you like to go shopping and all that kind of stuff. So I started out here working 15 hours a week and I really clicked with the lady that was here. So I ended up working Thursday – Sunday a couple hours each day. My schedule changed for different reasons over time but I really like it here and enjoy meeting all of the people.
What has been the most memorable this that has happened while you’ve been working here?
“We get people from all over the world, like Australia, Canada and Michigan and you know, I always ask them about where they are from and try to get into a little conversation with everyone. Especially if they’re older because you know, we can talk about things we remember like getting cokes out of a glass bottle at the gas station and all this kind of stuff. It was interesting because I had this lady and her husband come in and they were from Michigan and we were talking and just chit chatting about everything and we talked for a while and they eventually left. I came in a week later and there was this huge thing of flowers on my desk that they had sent me. And that was awesome. I mean, you know, it was so unexpected. It was really nice.
What’s the best part about your job?
“It’s an interesting job because you meet so many different people. That’s the biggest positive, and because everyone is always happy. They come in here and they are on vacation or looking for something fun. It’s not stressful and this is just such a pleasant place to work.”
I heard that you make hand made cards. Can you tell me about that?
“I started doing scrapbooks for my family after my brother died. A couple of my nephews asked me if I had pictures of him and I started thinking about how we could remember him and other family members. So I started putting scrapbooks together for family and I made them personalized. I probably did about 25 scrapbooks and each one had about 100 pages. “
“But then I got tired of doing the scrapbooks and I was watching some show on TV and they were talking about doing card making and stuff. So that’s what got me into it. And the thing is, once you make somebody a home made card, they kind of expect it. You know, you can’t just send them a store bought card anymore. I try to personalize each card. I think about what they like or what reminds me of them. I do them not just for birthdays but for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter.
Outside of making the cards, do you have any other fun hobbies or things you like to do?
“I like watching Forensic Files and all those investigative channels and that kind of stuff. I also like to travel. We go down to Gatlinburg every couple of years.
To see who else has been featured in our Humans of Lexington (#HumansofLexington) series click here.
If you ever find yourself in Georgetown Thursday – Saturday, stop in and visit with Linda. She’s a delight!!