Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Central senior Rose Lynch was learning to fly in 1944 -- Help us discover the next chapters of her story

Inimitable (some say legendary), Wisconsin State Journal reporter June Dieckmann was a police reporter, not a feminist, but she knew a good human interest story when she saw one. On May 29, 1944, Dieckmann’s story about Madison Central High School senior Rose Lynch, a young woman who was taking flying lessons, ran on the front page of the newspaper It was accompanied by a photo taken by another inimitable WSJ staffer, Arthur M. Vinje, the newspaper’s first staff photographer, a man whose career with the newspaper spanned more than five decades (1908 to 1962).

When I was young, I was a “Journal brat” who loved to hang around the old newspaper offices on S. Carroll Street, where my maternal grandfather was the press superintendent. I knew both Dieckmann and Vinje, and learned to read newspapers long before I was confronted with the boring lives of Alice and Jerry, but the article about Rose Lynch ran before I was born. I read it for the first time a few weeks ago, after an email from Ann Waidelich prompted me to search for it on the microfilm copies of the WSJ available at the Madison Public Library.

Waidelich volunteers at the Wisconsin Historical Society, where she’s helping to index the McVicar and Vinje photo collections. She found the negative of the photo of Rose Lynch in the Vinge collection and then searched for the story that it had accompanied.

Ann wanted to know the rest of the story. She wanted to know what had become of Rose Lynch, a young woman who, in 1944, was spending eight hours a day attending Central, working at the Spanish Cafe on State Street, and taking pilot training at Royal Airport, hoping that training would lead to a career as commercial avaiation pilot after the end of World War II. Ann thought I might know the rest of the story, since I’m working on a history of Madison Central High School -- and if not, I just might be able to locate someone who did.

I don’t know the rest of the story, but I too would like to hear it. If you know what happened to Rose Lynch after she graduated from Central in 1944, please see me an email or leave a comment. If it’s a long story and you don’t want to try to write it all down, let me know if I can reach you by telephone. I’d be pleased to conduct a telephone interview.

Notes: A transcript of June Dieckmann’s story about Rose Lynch, published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 29, 1944 is provided in the previous post. The narrow image of Rose Lynch acompanying this post is a scan of a copy made from a microfilm image of the May 29, 1944 Wisconsin State Journal; hence, the quality of the original image has been diminished. The other image of Rose Lynch is from the 1944 Madison Central yearbook, at that time called The Mirror Magazine.


Anonymous said...

I am Rose Lynch's daughter (Monica Hoffman Smith) and have some updated information for your article.

Nadine said...

I'd love to talk with you Monica, but not sure how to contact you by telephone (or e-mail). Please send me some contact information. Use the e-mail link on this blog, or e-mail me at CentralHistorian[at]gmail.com