A Tribute to Lois Bayne, 4-H Leader

— Written By

Lois Bayne was the leader of Cedar Springs 4-H Club, in Zirconia, from about 1959 -1974. Below is a letter celebrating Bayne’s 90th birthday written by 4-H club member, Vicci Bane, who has a similar last name, but is not related. 4-H leaders today are still pouring love and hard work into kids from Green River, and throughout Henderson County.

When the fair came to town you encouraged us to enter everything we could, from canned pickles and jellies to ears of corn. You would go to each house, round up our treasures, and take them to the fair. I won my first blue ribbon for a jar of dill pickles. I will never forget going to the fair and seeing my pickles with a blue ribbon on them. It was pure bliss! I still have those ribbons. You let me be the secretary for our 4-H club. Mama said if I typed the minutes it would be neater. So I did. I won county wide for the best secretary. I got a pin, (which I still have). I even got my picture made on the steps of City Hall (still got that). You would get one of us to do a presentation at our meetings. I vividly remember doing one on making strawberry jam. I was scared to death. I made a pair of culottes and modeled them in the 4-H Fashion Show. I found out right quick that sewing was not for me. You said enter the muffin baking contest. You said presentation has a lot to do with it. Mama found a basket and a red and white plaid napkin that I used. I got a white ribbon (still got that). You made it possible for us to go to Camp Mondamin to take swimming lessons. You would pile every kid you could in the back of your truck and take us. That is where I learned to swim. My instructor’s name was Betty. She was beautiful. I remember dog paddling out in water over my head. She taught me to bring my arms up and turn my head and breathe.

One of our 4-H projects was to grow a flower bed. You said nasturtiums would be good because you can keep the seeds from year to year and save money. I planted a big bed by the house. I won a prize for that. Of course you came and took a picture and sent it to 4-H for me. Every time I see a nasturtium I think of you. Then there was the 4-H Fishing Rodeo. I caught a little fish and it got off my hook. Out of nowhere you pounced on that little fish and kept it from going in the water. I won a prize for catching the smallest fish!

Many many years have passed but the memories I have because of you will never be forgotten. You always told me how important it was to send thank you notes. You instilled in me to try to do my best and if I didn’t win, try harder the next time, just don’t give up. My first real job was being the secretary for Sheriff Albert Jackson. The skills I learned from you helped me through a 30 year career in Law Enforcement. My favorite pastime is fishing. Yes, every year I make strawberry jam. I still love to plant flowers and watch them grow. My favorite part of the WNC fair is seeing what won a ribbon in the canning section. I made pumpkin muffins last week. I go to Green River and swim whenever I can. I buy all my clothes. Lord knows I’d be a sight if I made them! I’m still going to church. When I do all these things I think of you, Lois Bayne, and all the love and hard work you poured in to not only me but mostly every kid on Green River. The best way I know to thank you is to pour myself into some young kid and pass on what you have taught me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lois Bayne. I love you.