#WHYoming: Janice Brown

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Welcome to our series, #WHYoming, brought to you in partnership by Kaumo Law.

We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?

This week, I had a chance to sit down with Janice Brown, the museum technician at the Rock Springs Historical Museum. Janice has been working at the museum for 14 years now and is responsible for cataloging most of the museum’s archives. Janice is known to joke about being “old enough to be an exhibit”.


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Janice, how did you end up at the museum?

I first decided to work here because the job I was doing at the time said they couldn’t use me anymore. I went to unemployment and they told me to go to vocational rehab, and they put me here just answering phones for three months, and they paid me. Then after that they offered me a job. So I’ve been here for 14 years now.

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What do you enjoy about working at the museum?

I was born in Rock Springs, so I enjoy anything new that I find that I didn’t know about. Also, we get a lot of people call and request for information where we research their grandparents and stuff like that.

Janice's Favorite Historical Photos

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What is something unique about you?

I don’t know, I just do the best I can to help out the people that come in to the museum.

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What do you appreciate most about our community?

In our community, all the nationalities that get along together so good. I think it’s great.

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If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?

Just be friendly with people. I mean, for me it was hard at first. Before I came here, I worked at a job where I worked with the public, but then being at a job where you’re the first person they see when they come in, you get to where you really start talking to people. And when you talk to them more, they’re friendly.

Janice stands in one of the cells at the old jail in the Rock Springs Historical Museum.

Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?

I used to spend a lot of time out at the Events Complex because my kids were in 4-H. They had horses.

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Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse or drive a car?

Take a horse, because I always loved horses and we lived out north of town and you could just take a horse and go wherever you wanted to go.

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What would you sing at karaoke night?

I don’t know. Right now, my favorite has been, you’ll probably think I’m crazy, that HandClap song by Fitz and the Tantrums. I turn that on full blast on the radio. I did get to see them in Florida, because my brother lives in Florida. I called him and said, ‘They’re gonna be there, can I come down?’ And he said, ‘I already bought the tickets for us’.

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How would your friends describe you?

I try to be easy to get along with, but sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I want stuff done now, and I had to learn to back off a little bit. But I get along with almost everybody.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

One of my proudest accomplishment is this museum. When I started, even now, everything isn’t cataloged, but when I started there was nothing cataloged. So I put all these binders together. They’ve got pictures in them, they’ve got newspaper clippings. And I do displays.

It’s a lot of work but you don’t have a time frame and you’re not in a hurry all the time.

Janice stands in front of her mother’s wedding dress and her parents’ wedding photo, which are on display at the museum. “What’s neat about it is that her future mother-in-law is the one that sewed the dress,” she said.

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Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

I have no idea because I don’t go to movies. I don’t go to movies so I wouldn’t know.

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Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?

Because of family. And after you’ve been here, you love it here. Sometimes you complain, you know, why is the wind blowing today? Because it’s the farmers market.

My husband is originally from Missouri and he always says something about going there, but I have no desire to go to Missouri. My brother always tells me, ‘You can come to Florida,’ and I tell him I have no desire to live in Florida.

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Do you have someone you think would be great for our WHYoming interviews? Let us know!