Mama Goes to College
Sep 11, 2013 | 1687 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sixteen year old Helen Linscott got on the train in Lewiston, Idaho in August of 1945, headed east to see distant relatives and to start college in Tennessee. Her older sister, Vannah, was with her. At eighteen, Vannah was returning to college for her second year. Helen had skipped a grade in school, graduating from Lewiston High School in the spring of 1945. She was only sixteen, but rapidly approaching her seventeenth birthday.

Helen had worked the summer of 1945 at Hahn Plumbing Company in Lewiston, named after the "Lewis" of "Lewis and Clark" fame. The town sat on the edge of the mighty Snake River. Across the bridge was Clarkston, in the state of Washington. It was named for the "Clark" of "Lewis and Clark. Lewiston was on the eastern bank of the Snake River. Clarkston was on the western bank.

In the weeks before Helen left Lewiston for college, World War II ended. The official end to the war would take a few more weeks to accomplish News of the initial agreement of Japan to surrender to the Allies was announced in mid August, and all over America citizens spontaneously went from their jobs out into the streets, celebrating the end of hostilities. Many businesses shut down to allow workers to get into the streets and join the activities. Lewiston was no exception.

Just two weeks later, sisters Vannah and Helen headed by train east and south from Idaho to Nebraska, where their father's oldest brother Jay lived. Jay owned a lumber company in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was married to Minnie. They had made a good home in Lincoln.

After a visit with Uncle Jay and Aunt Minnie in Lincoln, Helen and Vannah boarded the train again, traveling through Chicago on their way to Louisville, Kentucky. Once in their mother's native Kentucky, they went by bus to the home area from which their mother, Bertie Layman Linscott, had traveled west thirty one years earlier.

Helen and Vannah visited their Mother's two sisters - Aunt Gay and Aunt Sunnye - along with their families. Both lived in the Bowling Green area. Their Aunt Sunnye, whose real name was "Nettye," taught at the same college their mother, Bertie, had graduated from in 1910, at age 18. Their Aunt Gay lived in the house where the girls' mother had been raised, in Millwood, Kentucky.

The entire trip from Lewiston, Idaho to college in Tennessee took three weeks. Their final destination was Freed Hardeman College, a Church of Christ college in Henderson, Tennessee, ninety miles east of Memphis.

Helen was five foot three, a very attractive girl with a winning smile and a pure heart. Her older sister, Vannah, took after their mother. She was tall and imposing, kind to a fault, and very protective of her baby sister. As soon as Helen and Vannah arrived in Henderson, they were met by Vannah's boyfriend, Don Vannoy, from Ohio, and his roommate, Clyde Moore, of Texas.

(More next week on my parents, how they met, got married, and had me.)

© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.

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