Michael Zavala Taylor: Where were you born?
Michele Richards: Fremont Nebraska at the Fremont hospital. Prematurely at four pounds when mom and dad brought me home. They had me sleeping in a dresser drawer with a hot bottle of water under me, until my dad had built me a playpen that sat higher above the ground so heat could enter.
Do you have any Siblings?
One sister, and she lives in Milligan, Nebraska.
What career path did you take?
I went to Bahners after graduating High School in 1973 after getting my license for cosmetology in 1975. Short hair cuts and blow dryers came into play so a lot of the beauty shops were not hiring. I ended up getting hired at Grampy’s Pancake Shop. I found out I enjoyed waiting tables and serving the public much more than being a beautician. I waited tables off and on for the next twenty years.
Over the years from 1980 to 2000 I not only waited tables, I worked retail at Montgomery Ward’s in Oklahoma City. I started out in the women’s department in Midwest City and that summer when school was out I had to quit because I didn’t have a babysitter. The following year my boss from Midwest City was working at Ward’s crossroads mall. I called him on Monday and was hired Tuesday to work in the men’s department. Three weeks later I was approached by my boss and the boss in furniture, and they wanted to know if I would come up and work in the furniture department. I was told if I didn’t like selling furniture I could go back to the men’s department. Furniture was one hundred percent commision, so I had no hourly wage. Within two weeks working in furniture I was offered a full time position working forty five hours a week mandatory.
I worked for Ward’s for five years and in June of 2000 I was hired at Cox Communications in Oklahoma as a direct sales rep. In September of 2000 I moved back to Nebraska and was able to transfer my start date with Cox to Omaha. With Cox I worked seven years in inbound sales on the phone then was transferred to dispatch and was able to retire from cox with eleven and a half years.
What’s one of your biggest accomplishments?
Having three wonderful, grown, responsible children and four spectacular grandchildren. In 2012 I was diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer. I went through 4 months of chemo and am now cancer free.
MT: How do you like spending your time?
MR: Landscape photography, sewing and crafting plus lots and lots of hours with grandkids.
Has the Lyons community changed much since you came?
Yes, we have a new outdoor theater.
What’s one of the most important lessons you learned in your lifetime?
To do what you love and love what you do and don’t worry about what people think of you and trust in God.