Mrs. Mary Sours of Forrest invited the woman from Ima to be guest speaker at the annual meeting of the extension clubs. She had no idea what an explosion of memories that invitation caused or what an honor it was to visit with the members of the three remaining extension clubs in our area: Forrest, Old Town, and Conchas Dam.
As I prepared for that visit, I went into the past to recall attending club meetings at lma when I was a child. Also, I remembered Miss Clytis Ross, home demonstration agent here in 1939 and for a few years thereafter. I also recalled having many friendly visits with Mrs. Edith Woodard, home demonstration agent for a while in later years. Because the sheriff’s residence was directly across from the county agent’s office, I was able to see the staff members on a daily basis and was a major pest during those early years.
While thinking about the extension clubs, I realized just how important they were to each community. Not only did they provide a day for the women of the community to socialize, but they provided important information for homemakers, such as cooking tips, sewing instructions, first aid courses, and general health ideas. Many other subjects were also presented as new information came across the home demonstration agent’s desk. Those women served as instructors to keep the women of the communities up to date on the latest issues.
Those clubs played a major role in our history because they gave the home makers opportunities to learn and to share. Before television was heard of in our area, the women learned what was going on in the domestic sciences by attending those club meetings. They learned much about child care and were able to can and preserve food for the families. We children also learned a few things just by listening and enjoying the results of the latest recipes. While the women were learning more about helping their families, the children were outside playing games and having a great time just being together for a few hours.
As usual, some of us were very fortunate to be involved in that history even if we were never members of the organization. Our families certainly benefited from the information that was shared, and many of us were kept safe because of those courses in first aid and in food preparations.
Let’s hope the clubs don’t disappear and that they continue to let women share the latest information as they go about the business of being outstanding home makers.