The Woman Named Leah (Spoiler: you want to buy some lucky beads?)

This is a story about her passing in 2011, but i wanted to record on this blog the story of The Bead Lady’s whereabouts. She was always drawn to my mother and would stop and tell her long stories as my mother answered mildly,” oh really?” without knowing what she was talking about. I have always appreciated my mother’s tact with street people.

In 2007 Yitzchak Shpock arrived at Louis Armstrong Airport looking for his sister, Leah, who had disappeared over 40 years earlier….
One kind women, Martha Owens, took a real interest in helping Yitzchak track down his sister. It turns out that Leah was a New Orleans street personality well known as “the bead lady” for over three decades. Though she had not been seen on the streets for ten years, many people remembered her. Where was she now? It was like searching for a needle in a haystack.

With the dedicated help of Julie Powers of the Coroner’s office, who was helping to locate people that were missing since Katrina, the search began in earnest. Finally, using a lead from the Social Security Admin, Leah was located at the East Louisiana State Hospital – a state psychiatric ward in Jackson, LA.

Source: The Woman Named Leah

About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

One thought on “The Woman Named Leah (Spoiler: you want to buy some lucky beads?)

  1. Sharon A. Wise says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s touching and reminds us that everybody has a back story, family, history…

    Sharon A. Wise 18 Year Realtor Associate and Island Resident

    RE/MAX of the Islands 2400 Palm Ridge Road Sanibel Island, FL 33957 239-849-9121



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