On Sept. 7 there were several extremely rare occurrences that contribute to making living worthwhile.
I stopped in the gas station that morning and was greeted by a young Black female who said “Good morning.” She asked was I Mr. Hop Kendrick that wrote a column in the New Pittsburgh Courier. Of course, the response was yes and she replied by stating she was a regular reader and that I knew her parents Everett and Barbara Utterback, and we hugged and I thanked her.
At 10:30 a.m. I attended a funeral on the North Side and the young Black who opened the door said “Good morning” and asked the question “Are you Mr. Hop?”And, of course, the answer was yes, and he, just like the young woman I had spoken to earlier, stated he was an avid reader of my column and the New Pittsburgh Courier and once again I said thanks. The funeral was not scheduled to start until 11:30 a.m. and I was absolutely astounded because four other youthful men and women approached me, introduced themselves and said, “We are readers of the New Pittsburgh Courier.” That was six people in the same day. It was an amazing feeling, and I thanked all of them heartily.
I had the opportunity to have met the deceased, Carmel “Ritter” Hall, but I did not know her. The request was made for any family members or friends to come forward and make remarks. I was sitting and reading the obituary and it had impressed me to the extent that for the first time in my life I felt compelled to give brief remarks about an individual that I really did not know. Carmel was an avid reader who had accumulated a substantial library, had a green thumb, was a devoted and dedicated mother of two daughters and encouraged them to be a part of the Civil Rights Movement by saying “be in the forefront of liberation for your people.” She graduated from Penn State University at 65 years of age. At the cemetery Carmel’s youngest daughter stopped me and thanked me for the remarks in her mother’s behalf and then said, “My mother read the New Pittsburgh Courier religiously and would always talk about your columns and your three daughters.” That was number seven for the day, and I can’t describe how it felt.
It is now about 6 p.m. and while having a discussion with some people, a young lady approached me with a New Pittsburgh Courier and asked, “Are you Mr. Kendrick?” I affirmed that I was, and she introduced herself and said, “My name is Julia Keene and I buy a Courier every week. I want to thank you for your insightful columns and also your daughter for the helpful educational role she played in my daughter’s life.”
September 7, 2011 will always be a date that I remember. A date that I was made aware of the fact that a number of youthful people are subscribing to the New Pittsburgh Courier and those seniors such as the late Carmel “Ritter” Hall were still supporting its importance.
The experience was so moving that I felt compelled to write this week’s column as a COLUMN OF THANKS FOR ALL OF YOU WHO ARE NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER READERS.
Please remember that Kingsley Association needs your financial assistance.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)