It began with a train ride on Mother’s Day in 2022. Linda’s visit to the Enginehouse prompted her to inquire about volunteering here. She was fast-tracked through the volunteer process and is now one of our valued greeters. A lover of trains her entire life, Linda is delighted to have seen the Freedom Train in 1976. Her favorite locomotive in the museum is the Polson #2.
Linda is a graduate of Rockford High School north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She went on to graduate with two degrees from Michigan State, followed by earning her doctorate from George Mason University in the Washington, D.C. area. This led her to a far-reaching career as a professor of conflict studies. She taught at Kennesaw State in Georgia, Antioch University McGregor in Ohio, George Mason University in Washington, D.C., the Dag Hammarskjӧld Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in Zambia, and the United Nations School for Peace in Costa Rica.
Linda retired from teaching full-time in 2018. She is currently president of the International Peace Research Association Foundation, overseeing an international board of 12. This position requires international travel, which she dearly loves. She recently returned from meetings in Trinidad. The foundation provides grants for peace researchers and scholarships to women from developing countries. Like ORHF, it is dependent on donations. Recipients must be selected from among many applications. Linda’s one regret is that they can’t provide funding for everyone!
She has two sons and two grandchildren. Her son Matt and his wife live here in Portland, and her son Thad and his wife, son and daughter live in Indiana, where they have been for nearly 10 years. Her stepdaughter and husband and Linda’s third grandchild live in Colorado. Fortunately, she loves to travel and is able to see them frequently. Linda has worked in 10 countries, loves rain forests (and has hiked in many—including in Australia) and loves being out on the water. In fact, she says she would go pretty much anywhere by boat or train. Two trips are on her bucket list. The first is New Zealand, and the second is the Northwest Passage through Canada, taking the explorer’s route from Vancouver, B.C. to Reykjavik, Iceland.
Linda highly recommends volunteering at ORHC. She loves seeing children’s faces light up when they see the locomotives. One favorite experience here was visiting with the 95-year-old who worked on the SP4449 in 1944. Another was when a visitor came with a train photo of his dad and himself as a youngster, while recreating the same photo here with his own son.
Fly fishing is a new pursuit of Linda’s. She also enjoys deep sea fishing, having recently returned from an excursion in Mount Pleasant, Washington, with both coho and king salmon in tow. If you are looking to win Linda over, serve good coffee, play a little ‘60’s and ‘70’s Motown, and treat her to anything with chocolate and peanut butter!