Letter to the Editor

Lifelong friendships and Senior Girl Scout Days

Friday, November 17, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: Helen Ruth Arnold was a retired teacher and long-time contributor to the Gazette’s Open Forum columns, even after she moved into a Trenton nursing home. After her death on June 17, 2023, at the age of 91, we received 16 letters from her. We will publish them as time and space allow in honor of her memory.

Dear Editor,

Back when I was 9 years old going on 10, Dora Moore Elementary School on CoronaStreet in Denver was filled to capacity with students from Kindergarten to grade 6. It was the beginning of a long journey on the road of life for me and the other students.

At church, I learned that Heaven is a place where God lives. It was not only God’s home, but the future home of those people who lived good lives and were faithful.

World War II was in progress. England was defending itself against bombs being dropped by Nazi Germany. On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor along the coast of Hawaii. The U.S. entered the war.

People were arriving daily who were escaping from Hitler and the Nazi’s in Europe. We learned that the Jewish children were the Hebrews. This name was first mentioned in Genesis 14:13. It means one who comes from beyond the Euphrates River.

My father had books with maps and I developed an interest in searching maps to find rivers and different countries.

When a Greek Orthodox priest arrived in our neighborhood bringing his entire congregation from Athens Greece in 1943, I began asking my father and teachers about Athens and Greece. My father and Sunday school teacher told me that the Bible word is from the word “biblia,” which was a group of books. (Bible was a Greek word.)

My mother became a leader of a Senior Girl Scout troop when I was in Junior High School. There were 16 girls in it. All of them were active in the Scouting program until they finally graduated from high school.

We formed life-long friendships. We were bridesmaids and kept track of numerous children and grandchildren. I was a program aid at Camp Edith Macy, the National Training School for Professional Girl Scout Adult Leaders at Pleasantville, N.Y., 40 miles outside of New York City.

On the morning of Dec. 23, 2018, a telephone message was received from the daughter of Jaqueline Wells Feines of Millington, Tenn. She and Marylyn Jessup Heart were my lifelong friends from our Senior Girl Scout days. This spring I will be 87. Jackie died last week. I am the only survivor of those 16 girls.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb

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