Letter to the Editor

A shoplifting incident in wartime Denver

Friday, July 19, 2019

Dear Editor,

Between 1939 and 1945, America was experiencing the effects of World War II.

Families were recovering from the Great Depression. My parents and I lived in an older neighborhood in Denver. They lived in an older house that was remodeled into a duplex. I was in elementary school.

Old Victorian-style houses, homes built in the early 1900s, and apartment houses surrounded Dora Moore elementary school on Corona Street.

East 9th Ave. was a short 1 1/2 blocks away. It had two grocery stores, two drug stores, Miss Manifoldís notion store and the Purity Creamery along a two-block area.

My mother preferred to shop at the twentieth Century Market. It was well stocked and had a bood butcher. Meat was rationed.

One day I was with my mother shopping for groceries. We walked there because my father drove our 1939 Buick to work. My job was to help carry groceries. After the U.S. entered World War II,we fought germany japan and Russia because Hitlerís army was sent to the Russian Front.

Later, Russia joined the Allies. A Russian couple rented a small apartment in our neighborhood.

The wife always wore a big trench coat and appeared to be quite heavy. While other people were using ration stamps to obtain sugar, butter, red meats and coffee, she was stuffing those items into pockets sewn insider her trench coat.

One day while I was shopping with my mother so I could help her carry groceries home, I was shocked.

The Russian lady was taking rationed items and stuffing them insider her coat.

Meanwhile Genevive Simpson Peck, the Dora Moore School principal was buying groceries. She told me to report the shoplifting Russian to the store manager (she didnít want to be involved).

An antique electric car owned by the elderly Humphrey sisters was parked outside when the police arrived. Their chauffer was carrying out their groceries. One of the Humphrey sisters walked with a cane. She tripped the Russian lady with it.

The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News printed a story about it.

About two years later, the Russian couple were deported back to Russia. They were professors at the University of Denver. Parents of the college students objected to them teaching communism.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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