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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Banks Family


I was fortunate to have a wonderful childhood including my teenage years. I grew up in a small town in southwest Virginia (Big Stone Gap) where everyone knew everyone else. Life was SAFE back then and we never worried about locking our doors. I could walk all over town--as a young gal---and I never EVER felt scared or afraid. Life is certainly different now, isn't it?

My mother was 42 years old (and Daddy was 53) when I was born. In fact, I was a TOTAL surprise to both Mom and Dad!!!! Daddy was so excited when he found out that Mom was pregnant, that he broadcast it all over town (which embarrassed Mama). Anyhow, to say that I (the first girl in the family) was the 'apple' of Dad's eye was an understatement!!! I had him totally wrapped around my finger from the minute I stepped into this big ole' world!!!!

Mom and Dad had three kids. Ray (Raymond) was the oldest --and he was born in 1922. Jim (Jimmy) was born eight years later (in 1930)---and then I came along in 1942. Both Mom and Dad loved to tell everyone that they were the only family in town (probably in the world!!!! HA) who were in the PTA for 30 years!!!! GADS----glad I didn't go through that!!!!!

Today, only my brother Ray and I are still alive. Jimmy died from cancer back in 1985. Daddy died at the age of 79 in 1969 and Mom died at the age of 91 in 1991. Ray is in a skilled nursing facility in Jacksonville, Florida, and is not in good health. Ray lost his wife (Evelyn) in 2007. I will post more about my brothers in other blogs.

The picture above was taken in 1961 (Christmas). This may have been the last 'family' picture we had made--although there may be others that I haven't found. From left to right: Ray, Jim, Dad (Simon), Mom (Edith) and me.

Have a wonderful Sunday.
Hugs,

31 comments:

Cedar ... said...

Lovely picture Betsy. I'm still noticing how formally dressed you all were. Ties, pearls, etc.... It's so nice to have the old photos, it transports us back in time. Are you labeling the backs of all the photos? I've started doing it so my kids will know who everyone is.

Abe Lincoln said...

Nice look back and what once was.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderful picture.
Had to laugh at the PTA comment by your Dad. I guess with you all spaced out like that, at least they didn't have you all in "teenage" at the same time. Phew.
Sorry about Jimmy and that Ray is in poor health. It is so hard to see our family sick and very painful to lose a sibling.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

That is a very good picture. I know you will cherish it for all times. You have such wonderful memories of your childhood and your precious family...m.

T said...

What a wonderful picture and great memories to have! Thank you for sharing them - I love hearing about my blog friends families.

Dorothy said...

What wonderful memories! We grew up at a very special time! There will never be times like that again, I'm sure.

Mildred said...

We have many old photos with us gathered around the dining table! Precious memories.

fishing guy said...

Betsy: What a nice photo of the family. You would have been in college by this time. It is great to remember th past.

Carol said...

I remember never having to lock doors...tell Mom you were going down the road to play with friends and being to to be back by supper. I'm sure we were checked on but we never knew it..or heading up the hill to play in the woods building tree houses..Independence..and self reliance, I think that was the most important thing we learned.

www.riverwildlife.blogspot.com

Karin said...

Thanks for sharing your family story Betsy! What wonderful, yet poignant memories. Look forward to hearing more.

LOVE that new header photo! What stunning rose!

Wendy said...

I absolutely love your new header!!! It glows with happiness! Thanks for sharing your family stories and pic. I remember those days when everyone was safe. We used to leave our bikes outside, never locked doors - well you know how it was. Sigh!
Have a good Sunday!

Marge said...

Hi Betsy! Such a wonderful post! I love looking at old photos. I can remember when we still left our keys in the car at night and never locked the doors. Times were certainly different back then.

mountain.mama said...

It really looks like 1961 in that picture, it's so cool.

I really hope George takes you to Yellowstone soon! I thought of you when we were at those falls.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Wonderful picture Betsy !
It does take us back to more wholesome and gentler times !
Love the formal setting, half of the younger generation wouldn't even know how to set a table with a tablecloth, and correct positions for knives and forks etc.
They just eat out of a paper plate and go.....
You were fortunate to experience a loving and special childhood, thanks for giving us a glimpse.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

This is a LOVELY picture, Betsy! And yes, I'm sure you WERE a big surprise! AND the "apple" of your parents' eye(s)! What a wonderful, idyllic childhood you had! Isn't a nice, stable family a blessing for children? I had one as well and I am SO thankful to my parents for that! :)

Sorry it's been so long since I've visited.... the job (and commute) keeps me quite busy. Everything is going just fine. :)

Hope it's not too terribly hot up in TN.... we've been having a string of 95+ days here in Atlanta.... and it's only JUNE! Doesn't bode well for the rest of Summer, now does it?

PS: the photo of the rose at the top of your blog is GORGEOUS! It looks like a DESSERT! Absolutely a masterpiece of Creation! :)

Take care!
HWHL

Rose said...

Do you realize how blessed you are to have such wonderful memories?

Snap said...

I laughed at the PTA comment! Too funny. Lovely memories and I noticed the *formal* dress. That made me remember going into town with my Aunts or Granny ... always wore a hat and gloves! Oh, my! My first patent leather shoes were because I was going downtown to have lunch at Neiman's ... what wonderful pimento cheese sandwiches. Goodness!

Enjoyed the photos of Bucky ... looks like the birds at our place -- trying to stay cool.

Thanks for the photos and memories!

Hugs--

Shellmo said...

It sounds like you grew up in a wonderful time Betsy! I would love to be able to leave my door unlocked and go skipping thru downtown and not worry about the dangers of today's world. Had to laugh that your parents were in the PTA for 30 years - I bet you kept them young! I love hearing about your family and look forward to learning more about your brother. Love ya, Shelley

Smilingsal said...

How nice to be so well loved. I do not believe that a person can be loved too much.

I agree that it's important to find another place to worship where JOY can be found.

SquirrelQueen said...

That is such a wonderful picture of a simpler time. What a great family and memories.

I love your new header, a fantastic rose. Is it a peace rose?

Hope the weekend is going well and not too hot.

Hugs,
Judy

Daisy said...

That picture is one to treasure, Betsy and one that will always bring back good memories for you. Sounds like you were definitely "daddy's little girl." :)

Susie said...

I bet you were the apple of your dad's eye. How sweet! I too lived in a very small town in AR growing up. We use to leave the doors unlocked and our cars too. Too bad things aren't that way now.

Regarding your question on my post about falls, we didn't see any on that hike but I do have some to show from two of the other hikes. I think you'll like them. Of course, knowing you, you've already seen them.

Hope you are having a great Sunday. It's 102 degrees here.

Lola said...

What a handsome family in the photo.
That's a treat to watch the birds like that. I love to sit & watch animals.

Tangerine Kitty said...

What a sweet photo!! It's always fun looking back....

I agree, it was safe back then. I often tell my daughter she can't do the things we did back in the day.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

mothernaturesgarden said...

I enjoy the stories of your family. So sweet!
Donna

Busy Bee Suz said...

I can only imagine how shocked your parents were to have you so late in life...back then, that was almost unheard of. I can just see how you brought joy to your family though...you are so sweet. I bet your parents were the salt of the earth too!!!

The Incredible Woody said...

I love family pictures! Thank you for sharing with us.

Bird Girl said...

You have so many nice family pictures, Betsy! This one reminded me of on of our family. Do you notice how simple things were then compared to now? Hardly a thing on the walls. I have a picture of my dad's office when I was kid...he had a desk and a typewriter and table for that - that was IT! We sure do have a LOT of stuff these days ;-)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Memories of a happy childhood are priceless.You are so fortunate to have those.It's all I have left of my parents as well.
Blessings,Ruth

The Whites said...

What a great picture. You all looked so nice! Thanks for sharing about your family. It's always very interesting to hear about a time so different than when I grew up.

Mandy

Tammie Lee said...

your life with your family sounds so very sweet, I can only smile.