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Carolyn Mead

"I tell everybody, 'I own the Y,'" says Carolyn Mead, who has managed the front desk at the Eugene Family YMCA for 30 years. "I'm the director of membership. I claim I'm the C in YMCA." On Thursday, February 28, Mead works her last regular shift before retirement and the Y winds down it's "Carolyn Week" activities with a "Final Fling" at River Ranch. "You see that kid working up front?" she asks. "I took his mom a casserole the day he was born. Now he's ready to graduate from the UO." Mead grew up in Pompano, Florida, and worked as a cashier in a grocery store before she got married, had two kids, and moved cross-country to Creswell in 1974. "My husband had been to Oregon in the service," she says. "We sold our house and came out here." Four years later, she took a job at the Y. "I thought I would work temporarily," she says. "But the Y grabbed ahold of me and wouldn't let go." With leisure time in prospect, Mead plans to return for classes. "I'm not a swimmer, but I'm going to try water aerobics," she says. "I'll do gentle yoga and strength and stretch for seniors."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 28 February 2008

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