When Kathy Morgan joined the staff of the Payson Public Library on July 1 she fulfilled a dream she has had since she was in high school.
"It's the first library position I've ever had, but it's a job I've aspired to since high school," she said.
Between high school and coming to work for the library, Morgan worked in the airline industry for 29 years, handling reservations and ticketing. She was also a supervisor for 17 years.
She and her husband, Paul, moved to Payson five years ago and spent the first two living in a travel trailer -- along with two cats and a yellow lab -- while they built their home.
"The hardest thing I have ever done in my life is that -- talk about togetherness," she said. But it wasn't all bad.
"I have a wonderful husband who allows me to be myself. I wouldn't be here without him."
Morgan is a transplant to the Rim country from Reseda, Calif. She and her husband found out about the area from friends who had vacationed here. They were urged to see the community for themselves as they started planning their retirement.
She said they visited the area over the course of a year before making the decision to move here.
"At first I was reluctant to move to a small town," Morgan said. "I've been in the city all my life. But it's been wonderful. It gives me peace and inspiration and joy in life."
Her new work at the library is now adding to that joy.
"The people are fascinating. Every one of them has a story," she said.
Morgan admits there have been challenges in the job. "It was difficult learning about the library without any background; learning where the books are and the mechanics."
Morgan works in the reference area and as the Internet computer supervisor. "I love working at the library. It's a dream come true."
Her time away from the library is spent gardening, either indoors or in containers. "We just have rocks on our property so I can't have a real garden, though I have wildflowers growing where the seeds have blown in."
For now her gardening skills are focused on house plants, a few herbs and 24 tomatoes on plants she has in containers by her deck. That deck is very important to Morgan. It is how she defines luxury in her life: "Sitting on the back deck, watching the sunset."
Name: Kathy Morgan
Occupation: library clerk
Employer: Payson Public Library
Birthplace: Huntington, W. Va.
Family: husband, mother, brother and sister
Personal motto: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Inspiration: My grandmother -- She loved to travel, she would take my brother, sister and me all over the country every summer and she'd do all the driving. I learned my love of travel and courage in the face of the unknown from her.
Greatest feat: Helping my husband build our new house.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Gardening
Three words that describe me best are ... determined, curious, caring
I don't want to brag but ... I survived 29 years in the airline industry.
The person in history I'd most like to meet is: Erma Bombeck
Luxury defined: Sitting on the back deck watching the sunset.
Dream vacation spot: Maui, Hawaii
Why Payson? It's the place that makes me feel the best.