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Otis Howell's pictures helped define childhood in Hannibal

After reading of the Missouri Press Association photography awards that Otis Howell won as Courier-Post photographer in 1961, Ginger Bleigh Dunn, now of Phoenix, Arizona, but originally from Hannibal, shared two photos Otis took her her in 1957. The photo was a demonstration of how many books she would need to study between first grade and graduation. Otis often shared prints of his photos with families, and that's what he did in this case.

About the time this photo was taken, Ginger and her family lived near my family, our back yards accessible by crossing through a few yards. I can still - to this day - remember sitting on the back stoop of her house, and the two of us taking turns reading our beginning books together.

Thank you, Ginger, for this reminder of a simplier time, when kids could roam free through back yards to play with each other; when books dominated education; and when getting your picture in the local newspaper was a really big deal. - Mary Lou Montgomery

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