|James L. Cornette
Carolyn's leadership roles in Ames include co-founding with Georgene Shank in 1974, "The Clothesline," a consignment used clothing store that they ran for 12 years and that continued for 12 additional years to be a very successful store, active participation and leadership in the Collegiate United Methodist Church, the League of Women Voters, the Republican Party, and more recently the Democratic Party, then Independent, and Altrusa and PEO. In 1995 Carolyn opened “Explore, a Learning and Travel Store,” that contributed greatly to the ambiance of Ames. She had travel books, luggage, maps, and travel accessories, and she delighted in finding new and interesting games and museum shop and educational items for her store. Carolyn’s greatest joy was in talking with her customers and her staff; she closed the store in 2007, and still gets great fun in talking with her customers and her staff.
Some of Carolyn’s most remarkable experiences occurred while accompanying her husband, Jim, to Malaysia, Bethesda, Maryland, New York City, Boston and Denver, Colorado. She volunteered at the Lincoln Library in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and during six summers and a spring semester, she volunteered more than a year at WGBH Public Television in Boston. She was extremely privileged and pleased to work for more than two years as a receptionist in the Washington D.C. office of U.S. Senator Charles Grassley and to accompany three of his summer tours of Iowa for international diplomats. And she gained enormous human insight while cashiering one season at a concession stand behind home base at the National League Colorado Rockies Baseball team.
Carolyn became very interested in AMOS, “A Mid-Iowa Organizing Society” which specializes in social justice. She ran very successful fund-raiser auctions in April of 2012 and 2013, and in doing so she visited more than 60 Ames businesses asking for gift cards to be sold in the auction. Carolyn enthusiastically describes “Project Iowa,” one part of AMOS, which “serves as a bridge between underemployed persons seeking living wage careers and employers seeking workers.”
Carolyn is an extraordinarily warm and enthusiastic supporter of a large number of people whose lives are enriched by her friendship.