Moffat County Profile: Jodi Watson
Jodi Watson doesn’t think his life has been very interesting and he doesn’t believe he has any good stories to tell.
“I can tell you in 35 minutes what it’s taken me 35 years to learn,” he said.
He may not have much to say, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done much. He’s the man behind the scenes, quietly working to make sure things get done.
He spent most of last week at the Craig Elks Lodge helping to remodel the upstairs rooms.
“The room has been the same since I joined,” he said. “Being as how this is our 75th year, we decided to give this a facelift.”
Watson is working hard to help the club celebrate its 75th anniversary while he quietly celebrates his 35th. Watson joined the Craig Elks Lodge in 1971. He believes he’s one of the Lodge’s longest-standing active members.
“Somebody just asked me to join and I said ‘yes,'” he said. “I just stayed with it.”
At 55, Watson has been an Elk for more than half his life.
“I enjoy the things they do, the programs, especially for youth and veterans,” he said. “We go to extremes with ages in youth and veterans. Those are our priorities. We try to cater to them.”
Watson served as the Elk’s Lodge exalted ruler from 1999 to 2002 after moving through the eight levels members are required to work through before they can hold the top job.
He served as the exalted ruler for three years, he said, because it’s getting hard to find people to join and be committed to progressing.
The Craig Elks Lodge has approximately 170 members, only about 20 of whom Watson believes are active.
“What’s hurting us is our members are getting up in age,” he said. “We’re just another struggling club.”
In the time he has been a member, the Elks have started accepting women.
“That was a major change, letting the ladies join,” he said. “I do believe it has helped a lot of lodges increase their membership.”
Other than that, Watson said the only thing that has changed about the Elks is the faces.
Watson was born in Texas but moved to Craig in the second grade. He stopped going to school in the 10th grade.
“I still don’t get along with these schools,” he said.
He quit school so he could go to work.
He has worked in construction and as a truck driver, so he has been all over the United States, but always returned to Craig, where his parents still live.
“Anything that’s associated with truck driving, I did,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on the road, but I always wound up back here.”
He met his wife, Dora, when they were both working at a Laundromat in Craig, but he didn’t get to know her well.
He quit that job and moved back to Texas, where he stayed for five years.
When he returned to Craig, he got a job at the post office, where he again met Dora, who also was working there.
“I was just a short-timer, she made it a career,” he said.
He married Dora in 1991.
He retired in 1993 because of health reasons. Dora retired from the post office five years later and they decided to stay in Craig. But Watson won’t make any promises about where he will be in the coming years.
“I’m still not sure what our future holds,” he said.
Watson’s has been a member of other local organizations, but his heart has always been with the Elks. “This has been my home,” he said. “I had so many years invested in here, it takes priority.”
Watson likes to hunt and fish. He travels occasionally, mainly on Elks business.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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