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At one time, my mother did a cover for Collier’s magazine featuring a scene from the New York state fair. She traveled on the train to Syracuse and stayed at the Y. Wandering around the fair all day, she was tired and hungry at the end of the evening, and went to the only restaurant that was still open.

They refused to serve her.

A woman by herself was probably up to no good.

Charlotte came out and saw the lights of the police station down the street.She went in, showed them her identification, and told them that she was there on assignment from Collier’s. A policeman went back to the restaurant with her, and told them, “You have to serve this woman.”

He sat with her throughout the meal. Charlotte kept her eyes on her plate and ate, scarcely knowing what she ate. But, she was served.

She never forgot this. Imagine such a thing, and imagine how many others were subjected to discrimination, of one kind or another…

This is a sketch done on the spot, as her fair sketches would have been.

wallbarnsketch