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Lynn Davis, an active member of the Clinton Tree Committee and several historical societies, is preparing to add published author to her titles with the upcoming A Frog Hollow Childhood: A Memoir of Hartford. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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Clinton resident and Tree Committee member Lynn Davis describes her interest in the committee simply: “I was always a lover of trees. Several years ago, I became a member.”
In Lynn’s time on the board she has donated two different trees to Clinton, has tagged numerous trees to help people around town identify them, and has always looked forward to the annual tree planting done each year with students from the Pierson School. This year the planting event will take place on Friday, May 3 on Liberty Green.
Lynn says the purpose of the tree committee is to “preserve and plant trees in Clinton and educate the young.” For Lynn, educating young people about roots is something that goes far beyond the Tree Committee in Clinton.
Lynn is currently working on her first book, a memoir of growing up in Hartford as a child from the ‘40s to the ‘60s. She was motivated to write her book as a way “to share a time I think is now gone from the younger people. I wanted to show them the way it used to be.”
Some of the nostalgic moments covered in the memoir include memories of cleaning out the ice box for the ice deliveryman, playing in the street with a block full of 20 kids, and taking the bus down from Hartford to Hammonasset for beach trips. The title of the book is A Frog Hollow Childhood: A Memoir of Hartford and will be published by Page Publishing sometime in the next several months.
Lynn’s interest in preservation—both of trees and of history—is her passion.
“I love the way things used to be. I get a kink in my neck from looking back so much,” Lynn jokes.
Lynn is a member of three different historical preservation societies throughout the state, and says she has a particular interest in old architecture.
“I don’t think today that structures are built like they did in the past. It’s like the old cars, there was more to them.”
Lynn credits the materials, details, and styles used in old buildings as aspects of architecture that appeal to her.
“It’s so important to hold on to the past, how we got here,” she says.
Throughout her life, Lynn has been an avid traveler and took advantage of opportunities that afforded her the ability to live overseas for several years. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Lynn says she became motivated by his message of finding ways to give back and serve the country. Lynn joined the U.S. Department of State, and went to live and work in Tel Aviv, Israel from 1965 to 1967, returning home to earn her bachelor’s degree.
In 1974, Lynn once again left the United States, this time to work in Hesel, West Germany. Lynn stayed in Germany , where she taught English as a second language to school kids, until 1980.
“It was quite an experience. I was the only American there; I tried to blend in and I did,” she says.
Lynn studied German in school out of an interest in the language, and in fact still occasionally reads German books today. Lynn says Holland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland were some of her favorite locations to travel, and noted that her command of the German language was very useful in those locales.
Upon returning to the United States, Lynn spent many years working as a registrar at both the University of Hartford and Capital Community College. Lynn moved to Clinton permanently in 1988 and retired from the University of Hartford in 2000.
Now that’s she’s retired, Lynn says she likes to decorate her house, and do lots of walking. Once she is done with her memoir, Lynn would like to pursue playwriting and perhaps take a course in that, as well. She can also be found reading, mostly mysteries but also the classics.
For Lynn, the nearby beach remains one of Clinton’s main attractions, along with the friendships she’s made in her neighborhood, which reminds her, in that way, of her close-knit neighborhood in Hartford from so long ago.
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