Associate Professor, Librarian
Palm Beach State College
|Assortment of items from the Hallock/Gibbs Collection, including a snapshot of Marian Hallock Gibbs, ca. 1943.|
Recently, a faded manila envelope mysteriously appeared on my desk with no provenance. As I sifted through the worn newspaper clippings, crumbling scrapbook pages, sepia toned photographs, hand-written tuition receipts, type-written letters, fraternity party invitations, wrinkled sporting event pennants and ink smeared report cards, an amazing story emerged. A tale of hard-working, middle class Palm Beach County teenagers attending Florida’s first public junior college. A chronicle of sweethearts separated by the second world war and lives reorganized to support both life on the American home front, our national security and war efforts.
I eventually pieced together that the materials were donated to the college by the family of Marian Hallock Gibbs and John Allison Gibbs who attended Palm Beach Junior College between 1941 and 1947. Marian Hallock served as editor-in-chief for The Beachcomber, the college’s newspaper. In 1942, she arranged for the first Florida Junior College Journalism Conference and served as a correspondent for The Palm Beach Post newspaper, chronicling Palm Beach Junior College’s “men in uniform,” and the “scrape for scrap” drive for local newspapers.
|Portrait: J. Allison Gibbs, Portrait in uniform. Dated November, 1943.|
Hallock married classmate J. Allison Gibbs before he enlisted in the United States as infantry paratrooper in April 1943 and after graduation she worked for The Palm Beach Post as a staff writer. Though Hallock and Gibbs were college sweethearts, the official Hallock’s May, 1943 graduation photograph shows only eight women. Gibbs eventually graduated from Palm Beach Junior College in 1947.
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