By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
Grace Booth is this week’s Picayune Item Super Senior.
She was born to French parents and remembers when they came to south La. to settle for her father’s mission work.
“He thought it would be easy to integrate into the Cajun life but he found they spoke a different type of French and were very suspicious of outsiders. It took some years for him to gain trust that he had just assumed would greet us with open arms upon our arrival.”
The young Grace was to learn much about integration, the first in 1950s, when the family moved to New Orleans, La.
“We had just moved to New Orleans and had to be taken to a notary to prove we were white or we could not enter school. It was traumatic to think that this person could decide were not allowed to enter our school.”
The second was when the government began integrating schools.
“I was there when they first integrated the schools and kept journals of my experiences. I went on to share these journals in a documentary shown on the History Channel called ‘Voices of the Civil Rights.’
Writing has been a part of her life from a young age.
After a career as an English teacher, she discovered her love of being published and mentoring others to do the same.
She has been published numerous times in Guideposts magazine, as well as the Gauthier Publication’s “A Homecoming Friends Christmas,” in which she wrote a story about her granddaughter’s prayers to have her deployed father home for Christmas being answered.
Booth is well known in the Gulf South for her contributions to writing groups and locally for her work as a mentor for budding authors through the Resurrection Life Ministries Life Group “Royal Writers.”
“So many people have amazing stories to tell but don’t know how to tell it in a short version which others can actually read. Everyone can express themselves; the beauty is in the uniqueness of their voice.”
She has been married to Doug for 47 years as of October and says, “We haven’t had to work at it.”
The couple stay busy in their yard where they are avid gardeners on their two acres. In addition to the two life groups that Booth facilitates, she is also the president of the Picayune Garden Club. She sings in seasonal choirs with her husband and loves to read, travel and practice her photography.