Raised as one of five girls in a suburb of Boston, MA, Mimi had never seen a desert until her plane landed in Palm Springs in the late 70's. Mimi was coming to southern California to see about jobs with the Riverside and San Bernardino school districts - her real goal was to eventually get to San Francisco to live and work.
After being shown around by the school district, Mimi went back to Atlanta, thinking the desert wasn't going to be her next move. Shortly after her return, the school district called back, aware of a job opening in the Morongo Valley. Mimi came back and in the course of being interviewed, met a man in a local Joshua Tree restaurant who wrote for the local paper and was also from the Boston area - he would eventually become her husband. Mimi took the job.
When Mimi started the job, she traveled to various schools in the district - picking up stray dogs along the way. During our conversation, Mimi indicates the problem of dog dumping was much worse at that time. She was thrilled when the Morongo Basin Humane Society opened in the 80's. Though not a no-kill shelter at the outset, Mimi was happy to have a place to take the strays she was encountering. Eventually, Mimi was asked to be on the Board, the shelter had gone to no-kill status and the rest is history.
Mimi has been the Board President of and on (more 'on' in the last several years) of the Morongo Basin Humane Society for many years. If you have an interest in animals and would like to make a donation to the shelter, you can do that here. If you'd like to volunteer your time, go to the shelter on Sundays and walk a dog!
In this episode, Mimi also recounts a 15 month overseas trip with a friend. They covered Wales, Switzerland, Spain, Morocco and many other places along the way.
Mimi says she loved her old desert neighborhood, in the Highlands of Joshua Tree, but it changed over the years, with neighbors moving or most dying off. She's moved from that area and still has a place in the desert and also a place in Oregon now, where she likes to go in the summertime. Mimi isn't sure whether the desert will continue to have a hold on her or not, but she does know she'd like to step away from the responsibility of the shelter and enjoy her retirement.