Tag Archives: Ball

Treasure Chest Thursday – Meeting Ross Perot

Posted on by 0 comment

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

DSC_0781

DSC_0739

Oh, yeah!  He has his own Starbucks!

DSC_0745

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.

DSC_0722

Here are some pictures about his sister Bette.

DSC_0788

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

DSC_0756

And my favorite wall pertaining to family:

DSC_0732

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

Treasure Chest Thursday – Notes from the Past

Posted on by 0 comment

Since I started this journey in 2007, I have wished and wished that I would have asked my grandmother Mary Ball Parks about her family.

Many times, I have said to myself or whoever is listening to the fool things I say, “Just send me a clue, a sign, anything!”

But, haven’t we all??  It is the biggest regret of almost every family historian and genealogist I know.  Everyone wishes they could ask just one more question. We all know that its impossible to ask anymore questions so I ask for signs or clues.

Well, I got a sign! Well, not a sign, but a note and that’s even better!

Jealous?

Ok, not yet, but you will be.

I went to visit my cousin Karen Ball Cowan and she was kind enough to drag out all of the family memorabilia that her mother and father had saved and let me bring it home to scan. Well among all the stuff, was todays Treasure Chest Thursday topic.

Karen had a note that my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia Smith Ball had written.  Full of her family history! She mentions the Balls, the Hooks, the Roberts and talks about her husband. So many people she mentions!

Woot! Woot!

So, check this out and be jealous!

Venetia Smith Ball's Notes Side 1

Venetia Smith Ball’s Notes Side 1. Digital Image 2013, by Susie Reynolds. Original held by Karen Ball Cowan of Texarkana, Texas.

Venetia Smith Ball's Notes Side 2

Venetia Smith Ball’s notes Side 2. Digital Image, 2013 by Susie Reynolds. Original Image held by Karen Ball Cowan of Texarkana, Texas.

I kid, I kid (as Knucklehead would say), don’t be jealous.  Just search out your cousins and see what they have.  If they aren’t interested in genealogy, they may not even know what they have and you might just find a treasure like I did!

Who wouldn’t like to get a note from the past?  Now I got clues for more digging!

Happy treasure hunting!

Susie

Ground Hog Day Elopement

Posted on by 1 comment

On Groundhog day in 1935, while most people were worried about whether or not Punxsutawney Phil was going to come out of his hole and see his shadow, my grandparents could have cared less.  All they were worried about was getting to Marshall, Texas and getting married before they got caught.

I’ve posted about this story before which you can read here.  I just can’t help but think of them on this day.  Today, they would have been married for 78 years if they were both still living.

This is my grandparents, Bill and Mary Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill, or Daddy-O as I called him, passed away when I was seven years old, in 1978 so I don’t have many memories of him.  I do remember him though, and I know how much my grandmother loved him because she mourned him until she died in 2007.  That is a long time to live without the love of your life.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of them together.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks, my grandfather was in the Army in WWII.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks, I love this picture they look so handsome.

Bill and Mary Parks.

Bill and Mary Parks, going for a ride and they look so happy about it.

Bill and Mary Parks

Bill and Mary Parks, still in love and happy many years later.

So, today as they celebrate together in heaven, I celebrate them here.  They eloped after knowing each other for two weeks and their love endured a life time.  I admire them so much for that.

By the way, Punxsutawney Phil brought them six more weeks of winter in 1935 when they married, and today he says spring is coming so I am really celebrating now!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Workday Wednesday – Bye Ball, Bowie Co., Texas Tax Collector

Posted on by 1 comment
Bye Ball at work, Bowie Co., Texas

Bye Ball at work. Bowie Co., Texas Courthouse. Date unknown. Digital Image, 2013 by Susie Reynolds. Original held by Karen Ball Cowan of Texarkana, Texas.

Sam H. Ball, Sr., or Bye Ball as he was known to everyone, was my great-grandfather.  He can be seen standing in the doorway of a vault.  Blowing the picture up, I could see old courthouse books stacked in a shelf behind him.

My mother remembered going to visit him in New Boston, Texas and that he worked at the courthouse.  She couldn’t remember what he did for a living, but she thought he might have been a Sheriff at one time.  His death certificate told me he was a retired Tax Collector.  I’ll have to do some research into this.

I am assuming this is in the old courthouse, because I have been in the new one and where they have those books now, looks nothing like this room.

I also have no clue who the other gentlemen are in the picture.  If any of you recognize anyone, please let me know the names so I can add their names to this post.

Susie

Military Monday – Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. – My Uncle Son

Posted on by 2 comments

Today I would like to honor the memory of my great-uncle Sam H. Ball, Jr.  I’ve posted about my Uncle Son’s heroic time in WWII before and if you missed it click here to read more about him.

I was very privileged recently to visit with my cousin Karen Ball Cowan, Sam’s daughter and she graciously shared these photos with me and gave me permission to post them here.

Capt. Sam H. Ball enlisted in the Army on 31 May 1940.  He served until 5 Jan 1946 in Company “A” 146 th Engineer Combat Battalion when he was Honorably Discharged.  He remained in the inactive reserve until 16 Aug 1953.  He was also a member of the draft board.

After the war, Sam was a salesman for KTFS Radio Station in Texarkana for 35 years.

Please enjoy the pictures.

Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr.Officers from Company “A” 146th Engineers:

Officers of Company A 146th Engineers

Here is the back of this photo:

Officers of Company A 146th Engineers

The gentlemen in this photo are not identified, but I recognize Sam standing in the middle.

146th Engineer Combat Battalion Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr.

These are some postcards that he had:

Engineer Replacement Training Center, Ft. Belvoir, VA

Company Barracks, Ft. Belvoir, VA

Engineers constructing a heavy bridge, Ft. Belvoir, VA

Here is a picture of them constructing a bridge, I have no idea where this is.

Constructing a bridge 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Mess tent the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Mess tent the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Taking a rest - the146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Taking a rest – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

WWII Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. others unknown

WWII Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. in the middle,  others unknown

In a bunker maybe?  - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

In a bunker maybe? – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

In a bunker maybe?  - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

In a bunker maybe? – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Sparing - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Sparing – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Marching - the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Marching – the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Tents of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Tents of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion WWII

Russian Lt. and Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. with pistols WWII

Russian Lt. and Capt. Sam H. Ball, Jr. with pistols WWII

Destruction. Vossenack, Germany.

Destruction in Vossenack,  Germany

Destruction in Vossenack, Germany

Destruction in Vossenack,  Germany

Destruction in Vossenack, Germany

Destruction in Vossenack,  Germany

Destruction in Vossenack, Germany

Wow! Is all I can say about these maps.

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

A Pictorial Map History of the 146 Engrs from June 6, 1944 to May 8, 1945

Liberation!! These are some postcards that he had:

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

Liberation WWII

More recognition for a job well done:

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr news article

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr news article

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr

Maj Willard B Baker and Capt Sam H Ball Jr

Reunions:

Normandy Reunion

Normandy Reunion

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984 40th anniversary

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984 40th anniversary

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984

Omaha Reunion Lubbock Texas 1984

Omaha Beach Reunion article

Omaha Beach Reunion article

Remembering the War:

Remembering the War Sam Ball Jr

Remembering the War Sam Ball Jr

Sam Ball Jr Remembers Omaha Beach article 1988

Sam Ball Jr Remembers Omaha Beach article 1988

It’s overwhelming and humbling to look through his collections of photos from this time in his life and realize the magnitude of what he went through, and to know what a good man he was after the war.

If he ever had any problems that bothered him from his time in the war, I never heard him complain and neither did my grandmother, Mary Parks, his sister.  That’s just the kind of guy he was and I am so proud to have known him, if only I could have heard some of the stories!

Susie

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Bulk Email Sender