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To know her is to love her

Her name is Nancy Jackson, but in Falcon she is better known as Miss Nancy, the cashier from Walmart. Miss Nancy is always smiling and cheerfully calling out her customers with a ìhello everybody.îJackson settled in Falcon in 2007; and, after a long career as a teacher, she decided to try something different. ìAt that time, the Walmart was just being built,î she said. ìAnd at my age I thought I would try something in the retail business.î In 2008, Jackson became a full-time cashier at the Falcon Walmart. ìI thoroughly enjoy making sure everyone had a successful visit,î she said. ìThat you connect with the items that you want to get. That you leave the store happy.î Jackson enjoys getting to know her customers, and some have become friends. ìIíve met and had lunch or dinner with customers,î she said. ìWeíve hiked together; played pool or table tennis together. Weíve become really good friends.îJackson said she ìloves chatting with the peopleî ó a common trait in Midwesterners.Although she was born in 1951 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jacksonís father, a U.S. Navy pilot, moved the family to Indianapolis in 1953. After four years in the Navy, Jacksonís father left the military and worked as a salesman in construction steel. Her mother and grandmother stayed at home with Jackson and her older brother, Hank.ìMy childhood was just filled with tremendous memories,î Jackson said. ìIt was just a beautiful, innocent time. I woke up, watched Captain Kangaroo and had breakfast, and then I spent the whole day outside playing with my friends.î She recalled a special Christmas when she received several chalkboards and a Howdy Doody Grocery Store. ìSo, I tie that in to my teaching years and my cashiering at Walmart,î Jackson said.Throughout her childhood, she always admired her fatherís loyalty and her motherís compassion and ability to listen. Jackson said she learned independence and how to find the good in all people from her grandmother.In 1969, Jackson graduated from Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis. Shortly after, she married a Navy pilot; and, in 1970, she and her husband moved to the naval air facility at Atsugi, Japan. They stayed there two years, before moving to a naval air station near Alameda, California.In 1973, Jacksonís husband left the military, and the following year the couple welcomed a son, Scott. Eventually, the couple grew apart and divorced. Jackson and her son moved back Indiana to be close to her family. With a degree in elementary education from Indiana University, Jackson realized her childhood dream to become a teacher.ìI always gravitated to little ones,î she said. ìAnd people would always say, ëYou have such patience.íî Jackson said teaching isnít necessarily about patience but rather the ability to share a message of respect and joy for learning.Like many teachers, Jackson has several stories and memories regarding her former students. The memory of a student named Cole remains close to her heart. ìOn the last day of school, as he was about to get on the bus, he turned around and ran back to give me a hug and said, ëThanks for loving me and for loving my family this past year. I will miss you so much.íîAs much as Jackson loved teaching, being a mother was her most rewarding and challenging career. ìWe love our children so much,î she said. ìAnd we just want the very best for them.î Jackson enjoyed spending time with her son exploring and learning new things.After a memorable family trip to Kentuckyís Mammoth Cave National Park, Scott and his friends planned more trips to go spelunking in caves around Indianapolis. ìHe and his friends got busy and did their homework and went to the library,î she said. Jackson wanted to explore the caves as well, so she went along with her son and friends, serving as the ìresident mom.î She said the spelunking group spent several hours in the caves. ìWe would crawl out of there dirty with good earth dirt,î Jackson said.Shortly after Jacksonís son graduated from college, he took a job in Arizona and Jackson followed. She substituted at the elementary school level. They stayed in Arizona for more than 10 years, and then moved to Colorado. ìI was ready for something different,î she said.Jacksonís overall philosophy in life is simply to be happy. ìItís just like brushing your teeth. The more you do it, the more it becomes part of your lifestyle,î she said. ìThis is nice. It feels good.î At age 63, she doesnít want to look back on her life with regret. For now, Jackson plans on staying put in Falcon, although she does have a desire to retire ìat some point,î she said. Drawn to the mountains, her vision of retirement is living in a ìsweet little place in the woods; yet, close to a quaint little town that would have all these things: a grocery, a library, a school and a hardware store,î she said.For now, life is good. ìI love the things that are good and truthful,î Jackson said. ìThatís me wrapped up in a nutshell.îMiss Nancyís favorites:Movies: Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Lord of the RingsPlaces: Yosemite National Park and Glacier National ParkFood: grilled salmon and asparagus, sweet potatoes and key lime pie

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