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Letter To The Editor

Hardick Brothers Grocery Store

February 5, 2020

Dear Samuel,
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. I am writing because some of what is in this February issue is personal to me. I got a copy when I went to the beauty shop today and to see the pictures and information of someone I personally knew and someone I just finished reading about is amazing.

A lady in the picture of Hardick Brothers Grocery Store was named as Bea Hardy Curtis in a proceeding page. Her real name was Voda Beatrice Hardy Curtis and she was a bookkeeper at that store. She was also a neighbor to my family and lived on Summit Avenue. Mrs. Curtis came from a pioneer black family, was well educated and taught school at Lincoln as a substitute when I was a student there. She and her husband E.C. (Nick) Curtis were prominent civic and social leaders here. He was a World War I veteran and one of the founders of the Norval Staffered American Legion Post here, the African American Legion Post and a founder of the Community Youth Center.

There is much to tell about both of them, but I will leave it to mention another person in this issue who will be in Springfield, February 28 and 29, at the Library Station. I will not be able to attend her presentation or see her, but I have just finished reading her book, “Stories from the Heart Missouri’s African American Heritage” by Gladys Caines Coggesuell which was gifted to me by a friend. That book and another came to me by mail on a day when I was bored and disgusted with my life.

In 3 hours, I had read the whole book and I came away enlightened, renewed, and in awe of all black people in Missouri have dealt with and achieved. I loved the pictures, the individual stories, the folk tales, the healing home remedies as there was so much that reminded me of my training, my upbringing, and the clever people I was privileged to live with, be around, and learn from. This book should be read by every black person and especially those growing up as I did in segregation and getting in on the beginning of integration.

Best wishes to you and yours,

Norma S. Duncan

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