Sunday, May 14, 2000

Activist inspired readers

        A few weeks ago, I wrote about Dixie Harmon, a Cincinnati treasure who died at age 63. (April 23 column)

        Dixie Harmon became a leading advocate for people with disabilities throughout Ohio and beyond. After breaking her neck in a swimming accident, she rarely left her home until age 41, when the death of her mother precipitated changes in her life.

        The life and death of this woman, challenged daily by dwarfism, quadriplegia and accompanying disabilities, is proof that no human being can predict the possibilities of another.

        The outpouring of letters following the column are worth sharing. Readers write:

Ms. Kendrick,

        I would like to express my sincere thanks for your column ... on the life of Dixie Harmon. Dixie was such a tireless advocate for people with disabilities in our area.

        She was a real friend who made it possible for so many of us to do the things people without disabilities take for granted — such as riding a bus.

        I would like to thank you for helping share her legacy with all of us. Christopher R. Sabine, MSW, Coalition of Cincinnatians with Disabilities

Ms. Kendrick,

        The article about Dixie Harmon brings back fond memories of a special lady who will be missed by many.

— Betty Timon, Covington

Ms. Kendrick,

        As a youngster, I lived down the street from Dixie Harmon. I used to cut her grass when she lived on Sarvis Court in Westwood with her mother. She was always the nicest lady. Every time I would show up, Dixie would wave from her front door.

        That was many years ago. I am now 42, and I still remember her as one of the nicest ladies I have ever known.

— Bob Meymann, Jr., Westwood

Ms. Kendrick,

        I am finally dealing in a realistic way with Dixie Harmon's passing.

        Your words bring home how much she accomplished and the lives she touched in extraordinary ways. She had a way of helping someone cope and deal with a situation and still find the humor they might need to really persevere.

        Your column brings to mind the joy of her life and helps those who knew her begin to heal.

        Thank you again for your voice of concern to the community at large and to those with disabilities in particular. Jessica Scully, Cincinnati


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