Hometown Heroes - Oral history project

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 3:57 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Beauregard Museum and the City of Deridder have resumed an oral history project, giving longtime residents the chance to tell their stories. Much of that history involves veterans.

“We just kind of fell into it, and once it started, we realized there are just numerous people out here that’s got a wealth of knowledge,” said Vincent Lebue, city councilman and historian. Lebue has been working with fellow historian and museum director Elona Weston on an Oral History project in Beauregard Parish.

“We don’t have a well documented written history,” said Weston. “We have a lot of questions and loose ends. I think we really use that as avenue to get the answers that we need.”

The pair began interviewing military veterans and residents a few years ago, but paused during the pandemic.

“More and more people that we wanted to interview have passed away,” said Lebue. “We would like to encourage daughters, sons, grandchildren. If you’ve got someone still living, get your phone out, interview those people.”

“People, when we approach them or call them, they say that they don’t have anything to share or don’t know anything,” said Weston. “But they really do, when you sit down with them. We’re interested in the simplest of history and the simplest of details.”

Lebue and Weston are ready to add more to the collection.

“How many times has a grandparent passed away and you wish you would have spoken with them or asked them questions about your family history?” said Weston. “You just have to take the time and do that, even if you don’t have the interest now. You will have the interest someday.”

The stories are catalogued and digitized on the museum’s website. A book is planned. For more information, contact the Beauregard Museum at 337-463-8148.

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