While teaching in eastern Kentucky, Walbert once drove a jeep to a coal camp on top of a mountain looking for a teenage, female student who’d gone missing from school for a few days.
I was wearing a pea coat and I had a revolver in the inside pocket – just in case,” Walbert said, recalling the story. She once coached a boys basketball team which played its games out of doors on a dirt floor.
Walbert made her mark in Barren County too. She was a teacher, principal and Supervisor of Instruction and her first priority was always the students.State Rep. Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, was one of her students and Thursday he said despite their different political allegiances, “I have always known here to be a person of high character, a person of strong conviction and integrity. She has always been a lady of the first class.”
Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, represents a district which includes Barren County. He recalled meeting Walbert when he first ran.
"She makes you think you’re the apple of her eye,” Givens said. “But when I got here and was trying to get over there to say hello, she was surrounded by men who also thought they were the apple of her eye.”
Gary Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University where the Hall of Fame is housed, recalled his first meeting with Walbert. He’d been on the job all of three days, he said, when someone told him, “You’d better get over to Glasgow."
”When I got there, standing at the front of the line was Golda Walbert,” Ransdell said. “The first thing she said was, ‘I know you’re new on the job, but we need a building for a Western campus at Glasgow.”
Walbert said the honor was especially gratifying because the Hall of Fame is the created by a gift from Nunn and named in honor of the Barren County Republican who was governor from 1967 to 1971.