Often in conversation someone from my generation will mention a name and part of those there who are young or newer residents of Minden will give you a blank look, since that name means nothing to them. It is hard to realize how old I am and how many of the names that come up in conversation are dead and many have been gone for decades.
I thought back across the years and listed a few residents of long ago that are outstanding in my memory, yet unknown to many today.
See how many you know, and next week I'll tell you who I mean.
If you know them all then you are a "smart alec".
Do you remember who opened KASO radio station early each morning with the phrase: "Hi! Neighbor!!"
And who walked the streets of Minden dispensing little cellophane wrapped candies and a warm welcome to Minden residents?
Who worked the flower beds and the roses on the boulevard in Minden, with no cost to the city and kept it beautiful?
Who was responsible for the dogwood trees in the area of downtown Minden?
Who went thru downtown Minden each afternoon selling the best hot tamales, wrapped your purchase in newspapers and left you to enjoy an afternoon snack?
What preacher in the late forties walked to the post office each morning and went in every business along the way, shaking hands and in the shop at Andress reached under cars to shake the greasy hand of a mechanic and call him by name? This preacher had finished law school and passed the bar before going back to seminary and becoming a preacher?
Who had a "God given" beautiful singing voice (no formal education) and called himself "The Singing Engineer?"
What preacher's widow moved back to Minden and became a benefactor of the poor, the sick and the needy with the help of people like Jamie Garrison and a men's
Sunday School Class in both the Methodist church and the Baptist Church?
Who was not a native Louisianian or from Minden, yet she researched and recorded Minden history for many years and was the appointed the "Webster Parish
Historian" by the Police Jury? She gave her entire life to this endeavor.
Who (a prominent Minden businessman) did so much work to ensure peaceful race relations in Minden often with the help of Bill Abney, a black Insurance salesman? I personally know how much he did without any fanfare for the good of Minden, and righting wrongs to the black community.
Who went through the residential districts peddling fresh meat out of a pickup truck?
What happened to the opera seats in the old Cozy Theater when it went out of business? It was a black theater behind the stores on back street.
Who was one of the youngest mayors Minden ever had?
Who was the first Republican Mayor Minden had since Reconstruction following the Civil War?
What is the oldest automobile dealership in Minden today? How many years has it been in business?
Who operated the first Recreational program for young people in Minden at no cost to the city or the young people? That included baseball and swimming lessons.
What boy in Minden in the thirties was sent to Florida by Larry Hunter to train under the famous "Babe" Ruth about how to play baseball successfully?
Who wrote the words to Minden's Alma Mater? Which band director's wife?
Where was the band concert held each Friday night during the summer?
Who lost the elastic in her underwear in downtown Minden and walked to Lewisville Street "spraddle legged" so the panties wouldn't fall to the ground?
How many do you know? Answers next week.
Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years before her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing selected articles from Mrs. Agan's Cameos column every Wednesday.