“Every decision that we make, we should pray about it first and do as God would lead us to do,” advised Juanice Ballard. “Dealing with what we’re going through now, we need God in our lives.”
Juanice Ballard has a strong faith and does her best to make sure that she prays about everything before making any major decisions. She sees and recognizes the power of prayer more than ever now.
Of course, now she is able to look back on her life and see the blessings that God has given her over the years and thank Him for His abundance. One of the small blessings she can see is simply her education and the great friends she made through it. In fact, she is still close with many of her high school friends to this day.
“I enjoyed high school because I enjoyed sports. I played basketball and ran track. We had a volleyball team. I had a lot of special teachers like Helen Ann Beeman and Coach Boone. I had a lot of friends that I played with her are like lifetime friends,” recalled Juanice. “I love being around my friends and talking to them on the phone, even if I don’t get to see them. I have classmates that I still stay in touch with even though we’ve been out of school for probably 58 years. We graduated from Quitman High School in 1963. We just keep in touch, and that’s special.”
Her education didn’t end when she graduated high school. She had always enjoyed doing hair, so she chose to have a career doing what she loved and continued her education to make that happen.
“I always liked doing hair, even when I was in high school. I enjoyed doing my own hair, and I tried doing other people’s even when I didn’t know how,” remembered Juanice. “I went to school out at Mr. Carroll’s Cosmetology School. I enjoyed going to school out there. They taught me about makeup, modeling, and stuff like that, so I learned a lot from them.”
Once she graduated with her license, Juanice started her dream career doing hair. Her first job gave her a stronger education that no school could truly provide, though: experience.
“I started working with a lady, Ms. Dedwylder. I went to work for her when I was 18. I stepped into a business. This lady retired, and her husband got sick, so I ran her business for a couple of months because she had to leave. She left it with me and told me to do the best that I can,” reminisced Juanice. “I was right out of beauty school and didn’t really know what I was doing. Experience is the best thing when you go to work because I had to learn a lot on my own. She wasn’t there with me. She would come home on the weekend, and I would give her the money and tell her what all I had done. Then, I worked for Tommy Martin, and it was a good experience.”
Later on, she started working for someone else and made a lifetime friend, Sandra Mosley. In fact, the two continued working together and started Classy Cuts. Although Sandra tragically passed away earlier this year, Juanice can always hold on to the precious memories she has working all these years with her best friend.
“Then, I worked with Glenys Palmer. Sandra Mosley and I both worked together there. When I decided to open up the shop I have now, I told Sandra I was leaving. She told me she was coming with me, so we both opened up where I am now. We’ve been down here for 52 years now,” expressed Juanice. “Sandra passed away with Covid in March, and it’s been a really sad time. I’ve got some special memories of her because we spent all our time together.”
Now that she’s older, many people have questioned whether she regrets her choice of career or not. Looking back, she has no regrets. She loves how much her job has allowed her to be with her family over the years and how it has allowed her to get to know so many wonderful people in Clarke County.
“Some people will ask me if I wish I would’ve gotten a job with retirement. If I had done that, then I couldn’t enjoy my children. My daughter played basketball, and my children were in different activities. I couldn’t have enjoyed their games and got off when I wanted to if I wasn’t self-employed,” stated Juanice. “There’s good and bad in everything, and I don’t know of anything I’d rather have done than be here. I’ve been working for 56 years in a beauty shop. It’s been really rewarding because I’ve met so many nice people. It’s been like a family thing.”
Being with her family is very important to her. She values the time she is able to spend with family because she was raised in a great family and could always see how important they were.
“I had a great mother and daddy. My daddy, Preston Cooper, was sheriff of Clarke County,” said Juanice. “I was raised in a Christian home, and they were very strict. I couldn’t get away with a lot of things because I had the sheriff for a daddy.”
She started her own family at an early age. She had fallen in love with Teddy Ballard, and although they had already planned a wedding, they made a huge last minute change that caused the original event to be cancelled.
“I got married really young. I turned 17 in April, finished school in May, and got married in July. I was supposed to have a wedding, but we eloped the night before. That’s just something I always wanted to do. Before I got married, I always wished I lived in an old house with an upstairs where you could have a ladder and come down the ladder. I always wanted to do that, so we did end up eloping,” explained Juanice. “We were sitting in Scott’s Drive In. Teddy asked me if I wanted to go get married. Back then, I was very daring. I said yes let’s go get married. We went to my house, and I told my daddy. He told me he wished I wouldn’t do that, but we did it. I had put my dress in the cleaners and wasn’t supposed to get my hair done until the next day. Needless to say, my hair wasn’t very pretty, but it was okay. A friend of mine had recently gotten married, and I got married in her dress. We got married at 11:00 at night in a parsonage at Stonewall Baptist Church. No one else found out we did that until the next day. We’ve been married for 58 years now.”
Despite getting married so young, their relationship blossomed. They were able to mature together and have kids, leading to the beautiful family she has now.
“My husband is three years older than me, but we grew up together. He raced cars for 13 years. We skied three times a week. We rode motorcycles every Sunday afternoon. We had a good time. We didn’t have children for two years, so we really grew up together,” expressed Juanice. “We have three children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild with another one on the way. I have a great son-in-law and daughter-in-law. I have really good family that I’m very proud of.”
Now, when she isn’t working, there is nothing more Juanice loves to do than spend as much time with her family as she can. She enjoys being able to go celebrate holidays with everyone and has loved how her grandchildren still involve her in as much as they can.
“I enjoy my kids—my family. I love my family. That’s what’s important to me,” stated Juanice.
The only thing more important to her than her family is God. She has lived by faith all these years, and it has only grown stronger over time. She doesn’t worship alone, though. Juanice has an amazing church family at First Baptist Church in Stonewall, and she loves them the same way she loves her biological family.
“Our God’s always taken care of me, and He’s going to continue taking care of me. I’m a member of Stonewall Baptist Church. I love my church. I live in Quitman, but I’ve been in Stonewall Baptist church for 58 years, so I continue to drive up there,” explained Juanice. “I love the people in my church. There’s nothing like having a church family because they’re always there for you.”
Juanice is very humble, and she loves being able to work with people in the community. She will continue to inspire others with words of wisdom as she fixes their hair or even just seeing them on the streets. No matter what, she will always spread love and joy to others as she continues to pray and seek God’s will each day.