Friday, April 10, 2009

Two Very Special People


As some of you may know, I LOVE doing family history. And---I have put together several albums of pictures, news articles, old letters and other interesting things (that I hope one of my grandchildren will enjoy having someday). Today's post is about my Mom and Dad's love which led to their marriage on Sept. 6, 1919. Mom was Edith Marguerite Ballard and Dad was Simon Edgar Banks.

Here's a little background. Mom's mother (Ida Bruce Ballard) died when Mom was only four years old. Her father, James Ballard, remarried and moved to Newport News, VA. Mom was basically raised by several aunts (her mother's sisters who lived in Big Stone Gap) AND her father's sisters (who lived in Bristol, VA).

Mom was almost 19 when she and Daddy got married. Dad was 30 --and had already been in the Navy before they got married. I think Daddy swept Mom off of her feet---but he had to get permission from all of those aunts in order to marry Mom. Here is a piece of the letter (I have the original) he wrote to one of the aunts:

Dear Rosa,
Edith and I have asked Miss Flora if she would consent to our marriage, sometime during the coming Fall, and she naturally feels that I should write you, Miss Alice and Robert (uncle), asking your consent also.


We will tell you all about our plans when you come home. Wish you would answer by return mail, telling us whether or not you will consent. Robert has already assured us that it is perfectly satisfactory to him. Expect to hear from Miss Alice tonight.


Hope you are enjoying your trip.
Sincerely, Simon

Well---needless to say, they ALL consented (Can you just imagine my Dad's fear ---when having to ask all of those aunts if he could marry Mom????ha) and Mom and Dad were married that September. They raised 3 children: Raymond Edgar Banks --born 1922, James Ballard Banks--born in 1930 and ME (Elizabeth Bruce Banks)--born in 1942. Daddy lived until May, 1969--- a few months before his 80th birthday. Mom lived until 1991--and died at age 91. Mom and Dad were married for 49 years (would have been 50 if Dad had have lived until Sept.). The picture above is Mom and Dad and Snowball (our cat) taken about 1960. The picture on the wall above them is my grandmother, Ida Elizabeth Bruce, (Mom's mother). More pictures are below.




I love this picture of Dad and Mom ---taken sometime BEFORE they got married in 1919. Even though Dad was 11 years older than Mom, they had a fabulous life together. I can't help but wonder what all of those Aunts (who raised Mom) thought about her getting married to a man 11 yrs. older!!!! Bet Dad was shaking in his boots when he asked that family for her hand! ha




"Will you marry me, Edith Ballard?" She obviously said YES!!!! (Thank Goodness, or I wouldn't be here!!! ha)




A pillow fight no less???? Hmmmmm---looks like two people in love, having fun, doesn't it? Don't you love these old pictures???? I'm so glad I have them.





Moving on, to about 1943, when Mom and Dad were so happy --that their little girl named Betsy was walking!!!!




This was about 1948 (I was about 6 yrs. old) and was taken in front of our home, at Christmastime (obviously). My dolly was named Lulu (after one of my favorite Great Aunts). I was truly my Daddy's little girl!!!




This was a picture of Mom and Dad ---taken sometime in the '60's I think. Mom used to love to decorate BIGTIME for Christmas. See that clock on the mantel? I have it now---and it works perfectly... It's so precious to me, like my other two older clocks.




I love this picture of my parents --probably more than any of the others. This was the way I remembered them. This one was probably taken in the '60's sometime. Mom always had beautiful flowers in the yard and two gorgeous Dogwoods in the side yard, a pink one and a white one.




Finally, this is probably the last 'family' picture we had. It was taken in 1961 I think. From left to right: my older brother Raymond (Ray), Brother Jimmy (Jim), Dad, Mom and me. Jimmy died from cancer in 1985 ---so brother Ray is the only family member I have left (besides my own children). Ray (who is now 86) is in a nursing home in Jacksonville, FL--and is only in fair health.

Hope you enjoyed meeting my Dad and Mom. I miss them both SO much---and only wish they could have met George.
Hugs,

54 comments:

Darla said...

Your family should be so proud of you for doing the history research and putting it together so well. This was a very enjoyable and interesting read Betsy. You so sweet to let us in your family, I too miss my Mom very much!

Kallen305 said...

Thank your for sharing this with us. Such a wonderful post seeing the romance bloom from the beginning and then showing it progress on through various stages. I love the picture of each other where they are holding hands and staring at each other. I really love the picture of you in it.

Very nice.

Cedar ... said...

What a lovely story! And geee,... 11 years isn't that much! I looks like it was a love match for sure!

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

What a beautiful and touching tribute Betsy. This story and the lovely snapshots belong in a magazine girl. I loved this :)

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Jane said...

Oh Betsy, this is a wonderful post! I enjoyed the pictures very much. Sounds like you had, and continue to have, a wonderful family life!

Jane

Grammy said...

I love all the old photos. You are very lucky to have them. I too did family research. I stopped in 2001 when my real dad passed. But I never turn down and new bit of info or a great photo. I asked my mom if there was any of me with my doll I was looking for. She said maybe. But Have not received one yet. She did not take many photos. So there is not allot other than school photos of me. My Aunt is WV. gave me all of my grandpas drivers license they are treasures. My mom was upset and said they were to be burned. I saw like no. She is not a normal person. And has many strange ways. That I do not understand or accept in my life.

Jayne said...

I loved seeing all these old photos Betsy, and you are so very blessed to have them. The love you all felt for one another is so very evident.

Shellmo said...

Loved hearing about your family history Betsy! That one photo of your parents holding hands and looking at each other says it all - how much they loved each other! So sweet! And great that you have all of these photos and memories!

linda m said...

What wonderful memories and great oictures. Both my parents have passed away and most of the pictures we had of them as well as family pictures are gone. Thank you for sharing.

Smilingsal said...

These are nice memories. I hope that you stay in touch with Ray. I'm sure he's appreciative of any contacts and visits.

Susie said...

Sweet photos and memories Betsy. Thanks for sharing.

Jen said...

Yes indeed, you are very lucky to have all these pictures and memories of your parents.
Easter Blessings to you and George. +

jlshall said...

Such lovely photos and a lovely story to go along with them. Family history is always so much better when you've got pictures to add to the names and dates.

ROSIDAH said...

Beautiful story! I felt really warm around the heart. You have an amazing family photo archive. I love the photos of your Mom and Dad. The look in their eyes says a lot. I hope that me and my husband will last as long as your parents. Your Mom reached almost a hundred. I'm sorry to read about your brothers. Hopefully you and Ray can still meet on a regularly basis. Have a great weekend, Betsy. Thank you for sharing.

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing this and the memories of your family. My parents were married on Sept 6 also! I miss my parents, too.

Pigeon said...

What a wonderful love story. Putting your family history together is such a great gift for your children. I need to do some of that myself for mine.

Small City Scenes said...

Wonderful history Betsy. Thanks for sharing. Look at you Dad's dimples. No wonder your Mmother swooned over him. LOL
Great series of pics. You are fortunate your parents were picture takers. MB

bookbabie said...

What a wonderful collection of photos Betsy. And putting them on your blog is creating a lovely virtual family history for you and your grandkids:)

mountain.mama said...

I love old family pictures too--even when they aren't my family! Great pictures and story. My parents are 9 years apart and both still alive. Pretty amazing all in all.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love reading about your family history too. You are so lucky to have so much of the stories and the pictures.
Your parents, I am sure of it LOVE looking down on you and your Love George!!!

NCmountainwoman said...

I do love looking at old photographs, especially when accompanied by the stories behind them. Great tribute to your mom and dad. And Betsy...they DO know George!

amelia said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post! I so enjoyed reading it and what a perfect day to read it!!

Judy said...

Good morning, Betsy! I sure enjoyed reading about your family and seeing the pictures! Thanks for sharing. :)

Your Dad in his younger years looks quite like the Kennedy's!

Wishing a very wonderful and Happy Easter weekend to you and your loved ones. :)

Cicero Sings said...

I always love stories of how people got together. Your Dad was one handsome bloke ... I can see how he swept your Mom right off of her feet. She's pretty darn cute too! You got some great keepsake pictures.

Happy Easter!!

dot said...

A really sweet story and I LOVE the old pictures of your Mom and Dad!

Janie said...

What a great collection of family photos. Your parents look so happy together, kind of like you and George. I'm sure they're smiling down from above seeing you two together.

HalfCrazy said...

Oh I love history too, even Family History! Glad to know you wrote about your clan's history! :)

Aww, so sweet of your Dad, it really is like that during the old times, huh? Not like today, people just go off and do whatever they want.

I super love that photo of your Mom and Dad holding hands too! I really love vintage so this brought tears to my eyes! So young! I also REALLY love the Proposal photo!

Your parents are a great model to our society! :)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

A post just overflowing with love and memories.Thanks for introducing your family to us.It seem that as we get older we miss our parents even more,at least that's how I feel.
Blessings,Ruth

This Country Girl said...

Oh Betsy, that is the sweetest story! I love all the pictures that you had to go with the story! I can only imagine you're dad having to ask all the aunts...bless his heart! What a sweet tribute! By the way, my mom and dad will be married 50 years in August! :)

I hope you and George and all the family have a blessed Easter!

Tammy

Peggy said...

I just love reading about your mom and dad! What a happy ever after story and what a beautiful daughter they had!

T said...

Your post was a lovely tribute to your parents! Thank you for sharing.

Tracey

Beth said...

I really love these photos, Betsy. You are so fortunate to have them, along with all your wonderful memories. I really like the one of your Dad on his knees looking up into your Mom's eyes. Thank you for sharing them.

A blessed and Happy Easter to you and George.

Natural Moments said...

They looked so happy and vibrant. They seemed meant for each other. True Love.

Our Back Porch said...

Just wanted to check on you to make sure you are ok!! The tornadoes were devastating today, and I see it was heading your way. Praying for you!!

Hugs and Blessings,
Rebecca

Neal said...

That's really interesting Betsy. I work on my family history for a while then don't do anything for a while. Some of the stuff is so confusing.

Leedra said...

Great post, so full of information that your family will want to know. Love the pictures, especially the pillow fight. This time of year is a great time to remember family that are no longer with us on earth. But we will see again someday.

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fishing guy said...

Betsy: A beautiful story of remembrance for Good Friday.

Harriet said...

What a beautiful love story! You are so lucky to have these wonderful pictures. I'm sure your grandchildren will love the book you have put together.

Daisy said...

Ah, Betsy, such a lovely post. The photos definitely show a young couple in love. I think this family history you are putting together will be treasured by generations to come. Very nice. :)

Bird Girl said...

Your dad looks so happy in those pictures! That must be where you get that happiness! Great pictures - wow - you are lucky to have them! They would surely LOVE George - almost as much as you do ;-)
By the way - the 'print my post' on my blog...I did that so long ago and it was really kind of hard. I'll try to look for the directions. If I find them I will email you them.

Wendy said...

This post touched my heart. What wonderful memories you have. Thank you for sharing. Your mom is truly a beautiful woman. I also love the same pic of your mom and dad that you do.
My parents were married in September and my dad was 11 years older than my mom! What a coincidence!

Pat - Arkansas said...

What a treat, and a blessing, to have all those old photos of your Mom and Dad.

Mildred said...

Such a delightful post and pictures Betsy. It's wonderful to see your family and share your memories.

Diane said...

Beautiful family, Betsy. I don't think you ever quit missing them.

I'm thinking of you tonight with the tornadoes. Hope you're out of harm's way.

Jackie said...

Just beautiful. What a fantastic dedication to your parents!

Jessica said...

Very special Betsy. Nothing is more important than family. I really enjoyed this post.

Rose said...

Betsy, I really did enjoy this!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Great post Betsy. Those photos are a walk down memory lane. Interesting point how the one photo is how you remember them. Thanks for sharing.

The Incredible Woody said...

I adore the pillow fight picture!!

Lori said...

Hello, Dear Betsy! Sorry it's been so long. I've not been reading or writing until this evening.

This post almost made me cry. Your photographs are precious and priceless. I love the old pictures of my parents also, who have now been married for 60 years. We come from enchanting and charming families, do we not? How blessed we've been!

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Hey Betsy, What a lovely ride down memory lane. :0) I love all the pictures but the ones of them in the pillow fight and the one of you daddy kneeling to your mom are so sweet.

I do know about all the bad weather today! My mom and dad are in Crossville and of course I thought of you and your hubby. I'm very familiar with Murfreesboro so that hit close to my heart to see those twisters do all that damage. My mom still has a few friends there..still waiting to hear if everyone is ok.

This time of year is awful and can be down right frightening...right here by Memphis we get these storms as they roll across all that flatland our of Arkansas in Memphis and north Mississippi.

I'm glad you posted at my blog..glad y'all are ok.

Hugs, Stephanie
Queen of Dreamsz

Patty said...

Oh Besty I love the photos and your stories behind them. I have a lot of my moms old photos that I am trying to scan to the computer. I am blessed to still have my mom, but wanted to get the photos done while she still can remember who most of the people in them are

Tootie said...

I loved the story, Betsy. My Dad was almost ll years older than my Mother too. It seems to have been pretty common in those days.

Photojenni said...

Wow Betsy! You are so Blessed to have all those pictures. I feel Blessed to know that some of your history happen real close to me. We have talked about Big Stone Gap before, And I live about 20 miles from Bristol. Small World isn't it.
Take care and go find a new waterfall to photograph.

Pj