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A Life and Civil Service and Politics--Paul Jensen

As told by Paul Jensen
Pinedale, Wyoming

Story Narrative:

"This is Paul Jensen at Rendezvous Point. I'm presently the executive director of Rendezvous Point, have been for the last 12 and a half years. Before then, I rode for Albert Summers, a rancher on the Green River, and rode the drift with Albert. I also rode for a year at the Hoback Basin with Tom Filkins.

Before all of these things, I spent a 30 year career in Washington, DC, where I did a number of things. My actual first job was the director of a study of copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota, at the Minnesota State Planning Agency. And then eventually I ended up in Washington, DC working for the Democratic National Committee and was the Thomas Jefferson or Deputy Director of the 1976 Platform Committee. And then I went on to work for President Carter in Atlanta during the '76 presidential election, and then after I did the transition at Department of Labor, I was offered and accepted a job as the Executive Assistant and Counselor at the Secretary of Labor. I spent four years there, and then shortly thereafter I worked for Laymen Brothers and then went back in and worked for the Mondale Presidential campaign and then went back to work for Shereson-Laymen."

"You're okay."

"I went back to work for Shereson-Laymen and then in 1988, I worked for Mike Dukakis as his national political director. After having lost four consecutive presidential elections, I decided I'd go straight and joined a public relations company, which was called Powell Tate and I was the Senior Vice President, founding partner of Powell Tate. After about 12 years, we sold it to an international holding company and all of us walked out with our equity and that prompted us to move to Wyoming where we've been for the last 15 years. I have enjoyed every minute of 30 years in Washington DC and it's actually changed, DC has changed a lot since I started in a small southern town, whether it was a bipartisanship that governed a process and now that's just changed dramatically. It's so polarized and perilized. But nevertheless, I did give up a 30 year career to work and live in Wyoming as part of a cowboy life and also at Rendezvous Point. Thank you."

This story was collected in conjunction with the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program and its national traveling exhibition "The Way We Worked" when it was on view at the Sublette County Public Library in Pinedale, Wyoming, in 2018. This story is part of the "Be Here: Main Street" story collection, intended to capture Americans' stories about their neighborhoods, waterways, towns, traditions, and personal experiences.

Tags: #Work #AmericanDemocracy #Politics
Asset ID #7677



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