Friday, January 20, 2012

Through the Years: Lula Sue Simmons, Childhood through Teen Years

Lula Sue Simmons was born February 13, 1941 in Baxterville, Lamar County, Mississippi.  She was the second child of four children born from the union of Susie Johnson and Woodrow Wilson Simmons.  She is shown in this photo as a youngster, about 2 years old, with her parents and older sibling Alton. The year was about 1943.  The family lived in rural Lamar County, approximately 16 miles from Columbia, Mississippi.  

Lula Sue was about age 7 in this photo, estimated to be taken about 1948.  She spoke often of her early childhood- the struggles the family faced as well as the good times.  Later in life, she wrote down some of those memories.  I published her writings in this blog, which are divided into sections.  See Memoirs of Lula Sue Simmons in the topics section.

This photo was taken in 1952, so Lula Sue would have been about 11 years old.  I remember her telling me that she attended school in Hub, a tiny community located between Columbia and Baxterville, Mississippi.  She didn't talk much about her school days.  Of course, the old schools in the area are now non-existent so I'm unable to get any further information.


The popular hair style trends for young women in the 1950's was short, wavy or curly hair.  Although Mom had naturally wavy hair, she would also "pin curl" her hair, adding more curls.  Pin curls were created by rolling the ends of wet hair up toward the scalp then pinning it to the scalp with bobby pins and allowing it to dry.  When I was a young girl, I can remember Mom putting pin curls in my hair a time or two.  (I couldn't stand having all those bobby pins in my hair!)

The year was 1954 and Mom was a teenager.  At that time, she was attending school in the Columbia district.  She didn't talk much to me about her teen years, which leaves me to wonder now- what was she like as a teen?  What did she enjoy doing?  The 1950's was the era for the birth of rock 'n roll, sock hops, Elvis Presley, movie idols like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, ponytails and petal pushers.  Was she influenced by the new trends of the 50's?  At this point, I don't have answers to those questions.


These are some of my favorite photos of Mom.  She was so lovely in her formal dress.  I believe she said she was dressed for a music recital, perhaps a piano recital.  

Mom was 14 years old when this photo was taken.  Apparently she attended Walker School.  I did a search on the school but yielded nothing.  Where was Walker School located?  Mom's family resided in Lamar and Marion Counties as far as I'm aware.  I didn't realize how little I knew of Mom's teen life until I began posting these photos.  I will plan to possibly find out more from her living siblings, Gertie and Elton.

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