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Photographic Memory

Touching notes

Geraldine Lawhorn (right), a blind and deaf Chicago resident, reads a message written in braille by Frances Biery (left), an accomplished blind organist. Biery’s seeing-eye dog Bess and Lawhorn’s dog Blondie sit by their mistresses. A graduate of the Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Biery was practicing on the Rockefeller Chapel organ for an August 1940 concert when Lawhorn dropped by for a visit. Biery, then 26, died Frances Biery Merritt in 2002. Lawhorn became the nation’s first deaf and blind African American woman to earn a college degree—at age 67. She has taught at the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois, for more than 35 years.—H.Y.

photo:  photographic memory