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LINDA GIST CALVIN Once upon a time.......there was a young girl named Linda. She had a wonderful Mother named Peggy and a wonderful father named Lloyd. She had two sisters named Barbara and Carol. They all lived happily in Visalia, California growing grapes and lots of other things on their ranch. Lloyd Gist was a very loving and generous husband/father.....who not only paid for his wife, Peggy’s DAR activities but he paid for the three daughters to go with Mom to chapter and district meetings. It all started getting expensive in 1969 when the 3 sisters and Mom, representing the Kaweah Chapter went to their first State Conference.....all three sisters served as Pages at that conference. That was just the beginning for this family. Imagine what the bill must have been when Mom and all three sisters traveled to Washington for Continental Congress each and every year. Yes, Lloyd Gist was a loving and generous man and Peggy was an enthusiastic Daughter who wanted her daughters to follow in her footsteps. In 1972 Linda left Visalia to live in Pennsylvania with Jerry and even then....she was active in state activities. And 1972 was the year she attended her first Continental Congress where she carried the flag in the procession and was a Personal Page to the President General, Eleanor Spicer, California’s first President General. All three sisters were there together. And here we see them again with the California flag in 1976 at Continental Congress. They did most everything together or one after the other.....like being chapter regent, district director and state chairmen.....and they always dressed up for the Past and Present Regent’s Breakfast every year at State Conference. Here we have a Dance Hall girl and her cowboy boy friend (1979) We will never forget that leg and garter worn by the youngest of the sisters.....Linda......a lasting memory, for sure. And I don’t remember Barbara ever looking so masculine. Then in 1980, after lots of hard work in her chapter and in the state society, she was selected to be California’s Outstanding Junior, going on to be the Southwestern Division winner. Here she comes down the isle to accept the award........does she look excited or not? How about the off the shoulder, white gown. Well, I guess that is OK for a Junior. She then went on to help organize the National Outstanding Junior Member Club, serving as Organizing Vice President. When President General, Patricia Shelby visited California during Betty Duncan’s term as State Regent in 1982, we see Linda as one of the Personal Pages for Mrs. Shelby. As always, the Past and Present Regents Club members enjoyed breakfast and wild entertainment in 1984.....with a theme of “Your First Immigrants to America” and as always, the Gist women participated. Do you think the one in the middle might represent Ireland?Peggy looks a little like Groucho Marcs with the green derby hat, green nose and green glasses. The two chicks on each side are really young and mighty cute!!!!!! In June1988, we see Linda on the left having her picture taken with Jane Smith, Honorary President General from Illinois. Several other California Daughters are in this picture including Marilyn Vaughn from Davis. We all know how much work goes into being Chapter regent and we know how much we appreciate the leadership a chapter regent can give to her members. Just imagine the time, patience, creativity, motivation and love given as regent and then to be chosen the first California “Outstanding Chapter Regent.” Yes, it was Kawaeh Chapter who nominated Linda and she was the first regent to win that honor. The chapter dedicated the 1989-90 Yearbook in her honor. Now wait just a minute.......do you think she looks like the Statue of Liberty???? Is that a sheet draped around her body or is that a dress? The hotel reported drapes from one of the rooms..... missing. Surely that is not what she is wearing. Well, maybe she just wanted to wear a crown and carry a candle. Lots of memorable things happened in 1989. The Pages made Linda “Mother of Page” titled MOP and here she is with the mop and Susan Trau. Here we have two sisters, Linda and Barbara at Congress in 1989.....a big election year. Barbara was the California Campaign Manager for Kemper Associates and the other two sisters were....well let us say creating, promoting and decorating the hospitality headquarters. The emblem for the Kemper team was the “sunburst” which would have made the DAR Centennial a bright light reflecting into the future. Look at that beautiful sunburst......made in California, transported to Washington and assembled in the hotel by Linda and Carol. Every yellow flower in every pot was made by those sisters. It was such fun to join together in an election campaign with friends and supporters throughout the United States. The Candidate for President General, Mrs. Kemper, was serving as Recording Secretary General and here we have Linda in the campaign headquarters with the Candidate. She greeted the guests with warm hospitality, lots of good food and lovely decorations. Even after all that effort and a full year of campaigning, we lost the election by 40 votes.You see, not all elections are without competition. There was another candidate and she was a Virginia Daughter. Mrs. Yochim had a vote of 1,277 and Mrs. Kemper had a vote of 1,237. The bow was then the official emblem while Mrs. Yochim served as the Centennial President General 1989-1992. There were other sad things happening that year........Peggy fell and broke her leg in Washington.......the sisters stayed right there by her side until she could return home. Soon after Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer and we lost her to that dreadful disease. Well, here we are at another Past and Present Regent’s Breakfast and the theme was “ School Days.” We recognize the school girl with apple in hand and ruffled pantaloons but who are these other characters? The School Janitor looks very much like Dr. Pat Stanford and that student wearing bib overalls and carrying books could have failed a grade or two.......yes, look carefully and you will recognize Mary Dean Alsworth, both ladies, friends of Gold Trail Chapter. This is a much prettier picture..........”Be a Star” was the theme another year and we see a fancy dressed cowgirl with a big, belt buckle and white hat..........and a precious ballerina so poised and pretty.......that’s Carol. Another Breakfast and the theme was “In the Garden.” We see Carol with her watering can, Merry Ann Wright with her pink sun viser and who could that possibly be with the sun bonnet and sunburst apron? This was the year Deanie served as President of the Club, and once more a candidate for the office of President General. I do hope you have noticed the face in the biggest sunflower possible. Do you recognize that face?? The face of Linda. Frances Zwerling is the lady on the right. Another campaign year, 1995, and once more it was a challenged campaign. The Kemper Associates campaign emblem was the beautiful, golden KEY. Here we see the giant golden KEY mounted on the wall of the campaign headquarters......made by these sisters, my wonderful talented friends. The colors were black, white and gold. They were dressed in black and white as they entertained in the hospitality headquarters........ the candidate was also dressed in black and white. Peggy was there with us as a major team effort came together to change a Past Executive Officer sash to the President General sash for Mrs. Kemper. Virginia Russell joined in the effort to win. We won that election with 476 votes to spare and California Daughters had their 2nd President General in the history of DAR. It was an exciting victory party at the Capital Hilton Hotel. Victory Party pictures......... During the 1990's Linda Calvin served as National Chairman of Constitution Week, DAR Good Citizens and Guest Hospitality while at the same time serving as State Chaplain, Recording Secretary and Vice Regent of California. It isn’t any wonder she was elected to serve as President of the National Chairman Association. In the late 90's Linda gave much of her time, love and devotion to Carol who was in and out of the hospital fighting for her life. We all suffered a great loss when Carol left us in 1998. In 2000 Linda was elected California State Regent and was a STAR for our state organization. I would like for you to meet Linda’s granddaughter, Lindsay and grandson, Cooper representing C.A.R. in 2001. Please note the little character with the hat..........Lindsay and Cooper were the deliverers of C.A.R. flowers to the State Regent and the Honorary President General. Because Cooper and I had a close personal relationship ( he knew and recognized me)he came straight down the isle with his bouquet of flowers pointing directly at me.....didn’t bother with the side steps up to the platform......just started to climb up onto the front of the platform to give me the flowers. I was honored to have such a close relationship with Cooper and the conference attendees had a good laugh. Here we see the Calvin family in 2002 with Cooper and Lindsay another year older and little sister, Page, joining the group. Carole Belcher, California’s Vice President General was honored with flowers at the same occasion. Now wait a minute........were these women involved in a train wreck????? The crutches and arm slings look very serious. Oh, well, the State Regent, Elizabeth Herr, was there and she will take care of the problem..... ..if there really is a problem. During all these years of DAR activities, the Ladies of the Past were trying to groom another woman who would move on to be an Executive Officer after serving as State Regent. But at times there were doubts if this woman was going to make it to the top. I must ask you.... do you think this strange character would qualify as a President General? Could she be too old for the job???? Do you think she might be out of touch with the business world?. Does her attire give us cause for concern about the image of DAR? How would the wide blue ribbon look on this dress? Does she even look hospitable???? You guessed it.....this is another Past and Present Regent Breakfast with a theme of “Pioneer Days” for dress..However, she certainly does not look like the “Madonna of the Trail.” AHH AHH success........... There she is......Miss Recording Secretary General. I was honored to nominate Linda for that office and to place the Executive Officer pin on her shoulder that happy day when she was installed as a member of the Wagoner Administration to serve from 2004 to 2007. Linda enjoyed her Junior Members, here with Nancy, Katryna Denning and Trisha Young. Our own Nancy Sellnow served as a Personal Page to Linda during that 3 year term. Pause Here we see Linda joining Gold Trail Chapter members at a Council meeting in Northern California. OOOOPPPPs........here we go again...... What would the ladies of the past think? Are these glasses just a wee bit large? Who is that behind the glasses? Do you think she might have shopped for another pair of sun glasses before she went to the beach? Well, at least she has chosen a beautiful emblem for her campaign......the pineapple. And the Daughters in California know the glorious things she has done through the years sooooo............ it was my honor to nominate Linda Gist Calvin for the Office of President General at the 116th Continental Congress. AT LAST.......ON THE 1ST DAY OF JULY.......IN THE YEAR OF 2007, WE SEE............ .........The official, grown up, beautiful, experienced President General from Visalia, California, a member of the Kaweah Chapter. We only wish Peggy, Barbara and Carol could have been with us today .....but.....somehow we can feel their loving presence as we honor Linda. President General is the highest office a woman can attain in DAR!!!!! She is the 3rd President General from California. Our Linda, is filled with “The Spirit of Hospitality” and we know it will “Open Doors of Opportunity” for her and for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. It is very special to have her here with us today......we are honored.....and we thank her for sharing this happy occasion with us. Let us welcome the President General, Linda Gist Calvin.
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