In weekly newspaper columns for the last 15 years of her life, Juanita Agan left us a priceless history of northwest Louisiana. * It is not a history likely to be cited in PhD theses, but rather an honest, unpretentious account of her life as she remembered it. She was born in 1923 in the midst of the Great Depression and lived through World War II and the civil unrest of the 60s. She shares with great fondness memories of people and places she loved, but she does not spare us the harsh realities of life in those times.
Juanita Murphy was born in 1923 on the eve of the Great Depression. Her father died when she was three leaving her mother Louannie as sole provider for the family. Following scarce to non-existent jobs in those days, they lived a nomadic life, moving, often abruptly, from town to town. Juanita attended as many as five different schools in a single year. A true child of the Depression, the trauma of those days never left her. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without, ” was a favorite slogan. Ever a lady, she was gentle about it, but her writing reveals her frustration that those of us in the more fortunate post-war generations had little understanding of the hardships her generation overcame.
Her face revealed her gentle nature, but her determined gaze and set of her jaw are those of a true survivor, one who has weathered life’s storms and come out on the other end with grace. She is truly a role model for us all.
I can’t say it better, so here is a link to a column she wrote about her mother. Appropriate for Mothers Day, it is a story of love and sacrifice for a child. http://bit.ly/1sBVVzt
You can read more at the Minden Press-Hearld under their “Life” section. http://press-herald.com