(Photo Courtesy of Miss Opal)

Jody Interviews Fort Worth's Own Miss Opal, Who Is Trying To Make Juneteenth A National Holiday

June 8, 2018

Around Fort Worth, Opal Lee is known simply as "Miss Opal".

Actually, she's also known as grandma, granny, and around a hundred other terms of affection. Miss Opal taught 3rd Grade for years, and got even busier after she retired. Now in her 90s, Opal has long been a community leader and activist - setting an example through her food pantry work, delivering meals to shut-ins, and providing wisdom to anyone wise enough to listen. The project closest to her heart, though, is the effort to expand Juneteenth from a largely Texas observance into a national holiday. Now, if you're new to Texas, Miss Opal is happy to explain why that matters - but more importantly, have you ever spent time with someone and come away feeling a bit reborn? That's what you take away after a some time sitting at Miss Opal's breakfast table. Every story, every experience, and every bit of knowledge - delivered with a sense of kindness and love.

Fort Worth's annual Juneteenth celebration is straight ahead, and this year it's bigger than ever - so naturally Miss Opal is excited and wants everyone to attend. But more importantly, she wants you to hear her message - and it's one we all should hear. Oh, and you might even get invited over the next time she cooks during the holidays.

In Japan, they call people like Miss Opal ningen kokuho - a phrase that means "living treasure". Spend the next 10 minutes with Opal Lee, and you'll see why it fits.