Monthly Archives: May 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Around the Compound

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I’ll have to say a few words I can’t go wordless.

Ever.

I wanted to share some pictures of what’s been going on around here at my house.  I’ve said before we call it “The Compound” because my brother and his family lives across the street and my parents live next door to me.

Now that Mom can’t cook anymore, my brother and I usually take turns cooking meals, but we usually all gather at my house to eat.  This time Jonathan came with his family for a visit and it was sure good to see them.  They are doing so good and we are so proud of them.

Here is a four generation picture of my Dad, Jonathan my nephew, John my brother, and Skylar my great-nephew.

4 generations of HiggInbothams

What dinner time looks like around here these days:

dinner time 2

The men gather together and the girls get together.  We don’t do this on purpose it just seems to happen this way.

Since this past weekend was mother’s day, we went in with John and Addie and got my Mom a bird house.  She loves them.

Moms mothers day present

She was totally surprised.

Mom's surprised

Myself, with my Mom and my brother John on Mother’s Day.

Susie Mom and John Mothers Day 12 May 2013

Knucklehead had a kickball tournament on Saturday.  They didn’t win, but it was fun anyway.

the pink dominators Michael as catcher Michael kicking the ball

All the really fun things are over with and now there’s work ahead, because when its summer around here, it’s work, work, work.

Got the pool opened.  Still a little cool to get in, but it won’t be long.

Pool opened

My roses are growing and blooming.

my roses yellow rose of mt vernon

And so our my chickens.  Did I show you my new coop we spent several weekends working on?  It houses my new babies.

new coop feeding time chicks are getting big

John and Justin got the garden’s planted.  Notice the chickens?  Anywhere there is fresh turned up dirt, the chickens are right there looking for worms and bugs.

chicks digging for bugs John and Justin in garden JT taking a break freshly planted peas and potatoes

Now that the coop is done, we are working on adding an outdoor area for the chickens, once they get a little bit bigger, they will free range with the others.

bugs bugs bugs

I took this picture of Justin and he was like, “Momma, get that camera outta my face!”

Dang Mom move the camera outta my face

But then he was like, “Hold up, let me rock this out.”

Ok hold up let me pose

Michael played with the chickens while the work was going on.

michael with brownie Weirdest chickens ever

I love this picture of Brownie.

Brownie

And this sucker bit the dust, and will no longer be chasing my chickens.  He’s now a warning to his partners in crime.

cant eat my chickens

That pretty much wraps up a weekend around the compound, in a not so Wordless Wednesday, but I couldn’t help myself.

Susie

Happy Mother’s Day!

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I took this picture of my Momma last year, but I love it.

Mary Helen Parks Higginbotham

She is a wonderful, wonderful woman and words can’t even begin to express how much I love her.  I see her daily struggle with Alzheimer’s and it saddens me to no end.  If I could have one wish granted it would be to take this horrible disease away from my mother.  She has never expressed one worry about her herself throughout this whole ordeal.  She worries about being a burden and what she is doing to us.  I tell her and I mean it, she will never be a burden.  EVER.  We love her and we will see this through with her, together as a family.

These two boys, are the apple of my eye.  I love them to the moon and back and I am so thankful God chose me to be their mother.

Justin Cole and Michael Cunningham

Yesterday I called my Dad and asked him to think about a special memory of his mother and to ask my mother to do the same.  When I called back later in the day, they had some stories for me to share with you.

Dad told me that when he was about 5 or 6 years old, his momma played on the women’s Independence Basketball Team as a guard and they always played at the North Heights Gym in Texarkana. He loved to go and watch her play. This is one of his favorite memories of her. This is a picture of my Dad with his Mother, Edna Harris Higginbotham at an anniversary party for my Mom and Dad. It was their 25th anniversary. This year will be their 49th anniversary.

Rufus Higginbotham and Edna Harris Higginbotham

Here is a picture of Dad and Memaw from the way back files.

Edna Harris Higginbotham and Rufus Higginbotham

Mom told me that one day when she was a little girl she and her mother were walking down the street in downtown Texarkana and as they got closer and closer they could hear the radio playing over the loud-speaker at Hawkins Feed Store, and they heard the announcement that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. My grandmother grabbed my mother’s hand and they ran all the way home. Not long after that, my grandfather volunteered for the Army and ended up in Japan fighting. They lived with my great-grandfather Parks at the time in what my mother calls “The Big House”, on Walnut Street in downtown Texarkana. Granddad Parks took in women to live in the house whose men were away at ar, and my mother remembers all the good times she had with all the women in the house. After the war was over she and my grandmother went to Fort Chaffee to pick up my grandfather, and he was so skinny and worn down they walked right by him and didn’t even recognize him until he called out to them.

Here is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks

This is the house they lived in during the war, and until my Granddad Parks died in 1966.  My mother always lived here until she went to college.  She had a room in the big house with her grandparents, and my grandparents lived in the little apartment house to the side of the big house.  This house is at 406 Walnut.  A group of lawyers have it now and they have restored it beautifully.  They gave my mom and I tour of it one time.

The Big House, 406 Walnut, Texarkana Arkansas

This is a picture of my mom and grandmother, probably at about the time of the war.

Mary and Mary Helen Parks

One of my favorite memories of my mother and I (I have many though) is the time she, Addie and I went to Bethany, Missouri and found out all about her maternal grandmother’s family that she had never met.  Her grandmother died giving birth to her father so she had never known her.  Her name was Helen Roleke Parks and her father was the mayor of Bethany for 32 years!  Addie took this picture of Mom and I standing by a street sign for a road they named for him.

My Mom and I in Bethany Missouri by a street named after my 2nd great grandfather

Well, that’s our walk down Mother Memory Lane, I hope you will take the time out today to think of your favorite memories and preserve them for future generations.  Had I not asked my father and mother for their memories to do this post, I would never have known my grandmother Higginbotham played basketball!

Susie

Tombstone Tuesday – Dr. Josiah McGee Bland

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This is a photo of Dr. Josiah McGee Bland’s headstone from way back in the day. Dr. Bland is the great-great-grandfather of Nedra Harris Turney, through her mother, Katherine D. McJunkins Harris. Nedra’s cousin, Helen Marie McAdams had the photo above.

In the photo below you can see the difference in the cemetery, and how much it has grown, around his grave.

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What a difference time makes.

This is a close up of his headstone.

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Dr. Bland served in CO E. 4th ARK INF for the CSA.

This is Dr. Josiah McGee Bland.

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He was born 19 Jan 1842 and he died on 14 Feb 1891. He is buried in Saratoga Cemetery, in Saratoga, Arkansas.

This is how Dr. Bland is related to Nedra.

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If you would like to know more, or connect with Nedra, feel free to contact me and I will put you in touch.

Susie

Treasure Chest Thursday – Meeting Ross Perot

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Remember a while back when I told you I had some great things coming up in April?  Well, I did and I just now have time to tell you all about it.

Back when Ross Perot ran for president, I was laying on the floor in my grandmother’s (Mary Ball Parks) room and we were watching coverage on the elections.  My grandmother pointed to him on the television and said “That is my cousin.”  Well, lets just say I didn’t believe her at first.  She had never mentioned him before. At any rate, it turned out to be true.

Sort of.

Let me explain.

When my grandmother died and I got interested in all this genealogy, I always had this information in the back of my mind but I never really acted on it.  Then one day, Nedra told me about this news article that ran in the Texarkana Gazette about a barn that burnt down in Texarkana out on hwy 82, and this article mentioned Ross Perot.

Newsarticle about old Parks Barn

Just so happens this barn was built by my-great grandfather, Granddad Parks (John Triggs Parks).  This barn was magnificent .  Here is a picture of it back in the day, when Granddad Parks would show his trotting horses.

JT Parks Barn at his Farm on Hwy 82 Texarkana

Here is Granddad Parks, showing one of his horses.

JT Parks

When Granddad Parks sold the farm, he sold it AC Smith, a very good friend of his and now AC’s son, Lynn Smith owns the farm.  Anyway, the Perot’s came here to this farm and rode horses, and I’m not sure if it was the connection to my grandmother that brought them there, or if it was just the place to be.  My grandmother, Mary Ball Parks was married to J.T. Parks’ son, William Parks.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about my connection with Ross Perot, so Nedra got me the contact information for his secretary.  Rather than call, I printed up quite a selection of charts and genealogy and wrote a nice letter and sent it off to the attention of his secretary.

Three days later, (yes, only three days) my phone rings as I’m walking through Wal-mart of all places and I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer anyway, and I hear, “Is this Susie Reynolds?” to which I reply, “Yes, it is.” and then I hear “Ross Perot, here.”

What, What???

You could have knocked me over with a feather, and I was very glad to have the cart to lean on.

I’m not sure what I really expected, but it wasn’t for him to call me up directly.  I figured that package of paper would go straight to the trash bin or junk pile, or I would get some kind of a form letter back.  That was not the case.  He called me personally three times that day and we finally figured out that our connection was through his grandmother, Maggie Anderson Perot Ball, aka Mama Ball.  Here she is.

Maggie Anderson Perot Ball aka Mama Ball

Turns out Maggie was married to Gabriel Elias Perot, with whom she had Ross Perot’s father, Gabriel Ross Perot, Sr.  After her husband died, she remarried my great-great uncle Wade Ball.  I do not have a picture of him.  Maggie and Wade did not have any children together, but my grandmother grew up playing with Ross’ father as cousins, even though there was no blood relation.

At any rate, Ross Perot had a wonderful lady in his office, Libby Craft call me.  She had been working on Ross’ genealogy for quite some time and she and I have traded information and she sent me the photo of Maggie above.  She graciously extended me an invitation to meet Ross Perot and I jumped at the offer.

So, Nedra Harris Turney and I, along with my cousins, Sam Ball III, and Karen Ball Cowan headed to Dallas and we met Mr. Perot, and Libby on April 15th.

Sam Ball III, Susie Reynolds, Ross Perot and  Karen Ball Cowan

Sam Ball III, Susie Reynolds, Ross Perot and Karen Ball Cowan

I don’t know why I didn’t get a good picture of Nedra with us, that was really goofy of me.  I guess I was just caught up in the moment but I did snap this picture of Nedra chatting with him while they were giving us a grand tour of his offices.

Nedra Harris Turney with Ross Perot

Here I am with Libby Craft.  I’m so glad that I got to meet her!

Susie Reynolds and Libby Craft

One of the things that struck me so about Mr. Perot is his obvious love for family which is why I’m so sure he was so gracious to us.  When I asked him about his father he smiled really big and he said, “He was my best friend!”

His father bought and sold cotton, and a long time ago he gave Ross a list of his thoughts on what it takes to be successful.  Ross had these printed up and gives each of his employees a copy of this.  Yes, he gave me one too!  Maybe now I can make something of myself! Ha!

All kidding aside, Mr. Perot has so many accomplishments that I couldn’t even begin to list them all here which is why Wikipedia is out there if you really want to know.  Also, he’s written some books, one of which he gave to me with his autograph, and it’s a great story of his life! Check amazon for that.

I have to say though, I have never met a more gracious, generous, or kind man.  As I walked the hallways of his office and looked at all the milestones and achievements of his life on the walls I was so amazed.  I’m a big supporter of our Veteran’s, but Mr. Perot is a man of action!  He gives freely his time, his money and his service to our Veteran’s and is instrumental in helping so many of them receive the care they need.

I’m so proud to have met him and that is why he is my Treasure Chest Thursday.

Here are a few pictures from around his office.  There were many hallways and we were there for two hours and only managed to see a few of them.

Hallway of Perot's Office

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Oh, yeah!  He has his own Starbucks!

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Maybe on another post I’ll share with you some of the military things that were hanging about, but for today these pertain to family.

His love of his wife Margo is obvious every where you go and this is just one of the many spots he has portraits of them hanging.

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Here are some pictures about his sister Bette.

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One of several family portraits he has hanging about of his family.

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And my favorite wall pertaining to family:

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Mr. Perot is a huge supporter of Texarkana College.  My cousin Karen Ball Cowan works there and years ago my father was a student there on a basketball scholarship.   Thanks to Mr. Perot and his generous heart, the college is still open.

I could go on and on about Mr. Perot and perhaps I will do another post in a day or two, but I thank Mr. Perot and Libby for so graciously welcoming us and sharing with us all things Perot.  It was such a great day and I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to meet a “sort of” cousin!

Susie

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