Hardin Massie Minor was named for his Grandfather, Nathaniel Hardin Massie.
NHM would take his grandson to visit his alma mater, VMI, during the “Finals”. Young Hardin would get to hear Astronaut John Glenn give the Commencement Address to the Keydets in 1960. He would thrill to the Corps in full parade dress marching in perfected unison. He would attempt to play the “Spirit of VMI” fight song on his cornet to the hearty support of his Grandfather’s fellow Alumni. He would watch with pride as the NH Massie Track Award was given to the Track & Field Keydet who most exemplified the spirit of this storied school, a military institute like no other dedicated to producing Citizen - Soldiers.
Hardin also remembers growing up as part of a big family that would enjoy Sunday dinners at his Grandparents. He would come to know, love and appreciate the Life Lessons that he learned from “Big Hardin” and their beloved GrandKit.
But it was not until early 2018 that Hardin became aware of his Grandfather’s courtship of his VMI sweetheart when he came across a cache of almost 200 letters that his Grandmother had saved dating from 1914 to 1945. His family’s Minor Foundation recently donated these letters along with the scrapbook NHM had created to document his service with the AEF from 1917-1919 to the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library of UNC - CH.
Quite suddenly, the idea of putting these letters and images onto stage came into being. This is an old fashioned piece of story theater that Hardin has worked to perform in anticipation of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice ending WWI.
It is Family theater perhaps especially for Grandfathers, Fathers & Sons that shows how a well trained battle ready Marine fighting for his Country and indeed his own Life shows his heart of gold through a series of love letters to his girl in Virginia.
It is hoped that others will be inspired explore their basements and attics in search of their own family stories and thus save these histories from another era.