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The following was submitted by Lynn C. Gilbert, after attending the 95th birthday party for Helen Holt Mollohan, wife of former Calhouner, Congressman Robert (Bob) Mollohan. This was written from the heart and I am honored that Lynn chose to share her thoughts. It came at a time when I was thinking, “I want to write something that will show respect for our nation, love of its people, appreciation for our ancestors, and thankfulness for their reliance on our God.” Happy birthday, America! Happy birthday, Helen Mollohan!

“In light of the impending July 4th holiday, the following highlights the importance of living in a free country where we are able to do anything we want if we work at it hard enough, and why we should honor and respect those who have forged the way for us.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a birthday party of a dear lady turning 95. She is relatively healthy, has a large loving family, and her faith in her Creator is great. The party was outdoors and it was a hot day. She sat in a rocker on the lawn while extended family and friends, old and new, filed  by. My  turn  was  late  in  the afternoon and she was visibly tired. I wished her happy birthday, told her she looked well, and then asked if she was happy.

In retrospect, I wish I had asked her one more question. This lady has seen the inventions of automobiles, a network of electric and telephone lines, rocket ships, medical miracles, and internet. I wish I had asked her which one impacted her life the most.

My answer to that question undoubtedly would be the medical advances made in treating leukemia and other cancers, as my own mother died when I was 17 from advanced stages of leukemia. Gladly, I would ride a horse and buggy to work if she were here today.

Historically, our country has been incredible on the invention front and our people have always embraced change. Inventions in this country are generally inspired by a desire to sell something. Touted as the #1 way to ease a woman’s life, the vacuum was promoted across the country to sell the electricity that had recently been strung alongside the railroad. My mother-in-law, Helen Morris, was first employed by United Fuel Gas Co. to teach ladies how to use the new range (cook stove) it promoted to sell its product.

In my youth, I didn’t really expect to live much longer than I have. Now, at 45, I have personally seen the overwhelming acceptance of the internet and personal satellite for GPS devices, communication and television. Stem cell technology is poised to cure many of the common diseases killing us. I even have a small robot that vacuums my floors. What is next? I definitely want to wait around to see.

Mrs. Mollohan answered my question with a shrug and a simple “Yes.” She said she didn’t expect to make it after losing her husband, but “you just do.” What a trooper! Next year, I am ready for her!

Collectively, we as a people, immigrants and all, are a great, but youthful nation. Consider the fact that, compared to the United States of America, the Middle East is biblical in age and still relatively undeveloped. God has blessed America!”


Helen Holt Mollohan on her 95th birthday.

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