Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Jinx Junkin

Jinx Junkin

Honored May, 2000






Marion Allworth 'Jinx' Junkin

In high school in Illinois, Jinx Junkin was serving as assistant stage manager for a student play. Despite the impressive title, her job consisted of little more than turning the stage lights up and down on cue. Then she had a revelation: “I suddenly realized, ‘Gee, the actors couldn’t perform if I wasn’t doing this.’ ” It was the start of something big.

Jinx was hooked on theater. Although her surgeon father wanted her to become a doctor, she studied instead at the Goodman Memorial Theater school in Chicago. During World War II she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, and because of her training she was assigned the “cushy” duty of directing “soldier shows” with 30 or 40 cast members. Many of the productions were large Broadway musicals. That also started something big.

After the war, Jinx moved to New York City, where she wrote for a newspaper during the day and worked in the theater at night. The relentless pace gave her bleeding ulcers, and her doctor told her to go west for a while and take things easy. With a six-months’ leave from her paper, she arrived in Santa Fe in 1954. When time came to return, she did not want to. She decided to do “anything and everything” in order to stay.