Being in Lynchbug has sent me pinwheeling down memory lane. I was fortunate enough to eat tonight with Stephanie Whitson Higgins and her husband, Dan, and son, Max. We ate downtown at the DPO, and I was amazed to see how Lynchburg’s downtown area has been revived. After dinner we drove around and I looked for the old Virginian Hotel/Stewart Arms Hotel, which later served as a dorm for Liberty University students–back when it was still known as Liberty Baptist College. I was a student at LBC back then, and I lived in this hotel for two years–on the sixth floor, to be precise, and I can still point out the windows of my rooms in the postcard picture.
And see that glorious staircase in the interior photo? Whenever we had a banquet, we girls would take the elevator down to the second floor, then walk down that staircase to meet out dates waiting in the lobby. Somehow that beautiful marble staircase was the perfect accessory for our formal wear. And Mama Lind lived on the second floor–in a little apartment where we could visit her and she could look out and keep an eye on us students. She was a “widow indeed” as spoken of in Scripture–a preacher’s wife, she lived with us and was “mama” to all of us.
I spent a lot of hours talking to a lot of friends in that hotel . . . including the man who became my husband. I washed clothes in the basement laundry room, ate meals in the cafeteria off the first floor, lived on the bottom berth of a triple bunkbed with two roommates.
I LOVE old buildings and hate to see them torn down, though the last time I saw the old hotel, it had fallen into sad disrepair. The elevator was one of the old kind where you close the gate yourself and pumped the handle to take the car up or down. When I first arrived, a gentleman worked the elevator for us–I think he had been employed by the hotel, and when the college bought the building, he stayed on.
Such wonderful memories. I’ve been bombarded with them this weekend as I visited Lynchburg again . . . walking the halls where I used to teach school, sitting in the hard pews where I heard from great men of God, standing on the very spot on the Thomas Road platform where I took my marriage vows. So much has changed in the last twenty years–you won’t believe everything the university now has to offer–but much remains the same. The people, for instance.
This weekend has been like one prolonged case of deja vu, but I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ll have to come back again and bring my husband . . . soon.