Fern Ballou

Back when I graduated from high school women had few choices. You either became a teacher, nurse, telephone operator (What’s that?) or secretary. I chose to go to Gates Business College in Augusta, Maine.

I enrolled in the Legal Secretarial course (now Legal Assistant). The attorney, Mr. Pierce, who taught the course asked me to work for him afternoons and Saturdays which I did and when I completed the course, he hired me full time.

I continued until I got married and moved to Boston with my husband, Bob. Within a week I had a job as secretary for the attorney of the Boston Insurance Co. We had to drive into Boston and back home to Hingham five days a week. We were eating dinner at 8:30 at night.

When Mr. Pierce asked if we planned to return to Maine, Bob said if you’ve got a job, let’s give up this rat race and go back to Maine which we did. He soon had a job for the old Tydol (Flying A) Company and it later became Getty Oil Co.

In a couple years we started our family and I didn’t work anymore. That’s what we did back then. We stayed home with the kids. I didn’t go back to work until our daughter was in college and our son was in high school.

It wasn’t many years before we became winter visitors to Florida. But I still wanted to work. I had a job every winter for a law firm in Venice and every summer for a bank in Maine. My husband said, “Fern never had a job she didn’t like.” And that is still true.

When younger attorneys took over the law firm and downsized and I went to work for Neilson’s Reporting and then they closed the Venice office, I thought that was the end of my working years. But then, I met Mr. Brazell (Rob) at church and he asked for my resume and here I am.

I am very happy I can be of help to people who need it.