Tag Archives: Parks

Veteran’s Day

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Field of Heroes at Cleburne Co. Courthouse in Heber Springs Arkansas

This picture is from the Field of Heroes at the Cleburne County Court House in Heber Springs, Arkansas.  What a nice way to honor our veterans.  Each flag has a tag on it with the name of the person who served with information about them on the tag.  They are taking the flags down today in a ceremony and the family will get to keep the flag.  I wish I had known about this in time to get a flag or two.  Of course if I honored every one in my family that served I would have gone broke.

I am very proud to say that there have been many of my family members that have served our country.

My husband, John Reynolds.

My father-in-law Al Reynolds, a cousin Erby Harris, and a cousin Harry Short, all of whom served in Vietnam.

My grandfather William John Parks, my great-uncle “Son” Sam Ball, my great-uncle Sonny Cowan, a cousin Hubert Aaron (gave his life), and a cousin Walter Harris who all served during World War II.

Four of my 2nd great grandfather’s served during the war between the states;  Rufus F. Higginbotham, Francis H. Williams (head wound), John D. Parks, and Kennedy Wade Ball (leg wound).

I even have an ancestor that served in the Indian Creek War, Sanford Higginbotham and one who served in the American Revolution, Thomas Bullard.

Others that have served are my cousin Gary Higginbotham, my cousin Lauren McKeehan, a nephew (still serving) Matthew Nold, a niece Jennifer Nold Bohannon, and many, many friends.

I’m sure I have accidentally left someone off the list.  If I did, please forgive me, they deserve recognition as well and please leave their name in the comment section below so I can keep our family list updated.

Some of the people I listed are long gone, and some are still here protecting our freedom.  I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their service.

I would also like to thank every service man and woman.  You are all heroes.  May God bless you.

As Elmer Davis once said, “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Happy 48th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Today my parents are celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary so I’d like to share some pictures with you of their time together.

I’m not sure what year this picture is, it’s when they were in high school and they were dating.  They broke up when Mom went to college. Dad didn’t want her to go, and she did so they went their separate ways.

Mom and Dad - early 50's

Mom and Dad – early 50’s

Then at some point they reconnected and here is their wedding photo from Sept 11, 1964.

Mom and Dad Wedding Photo - 11 Sep 1964

Mom and Dad Wedding Photo – 11 Sep 1964

This next photo is from Christmas of 1972, we are at my grandparents (Bill and Mary’s) apartment in Texarkana.

Dad, Susie, Mom, John - Christmas 1972

Dad, Susie, Mom, John – Christmas 1972

This is from the early 70’s sometime.  Christmas again, I guess that’s just when most people took pictures back then.

Dad and Mom - early 70's

Dad and Mom – early 70’s

Here they are March of 1978 – this was a fishing trip to Mexico.

Mom and Dad - March 1978

Mom and Dad – March 1978

Here they are again, not sure what they were doing but as usual, they were doing it together.

Dad and Mom July 1984

Dad and Mom July 1984

This next picture is from their 25th wedding anniversary party that we had for them.  Three of us kids are in the photo; Butch, John and myself.

Mom and Dad - 25th Wedding Anniversary 1989 - with Butch, John, and Susie

Mom and Dad – 25th Wedding Anniversary 1989 – with Butch, John, and Susie

I’m not sure where the 90’s went, couldn’t find any pictures from then.  Here they are in 2010.  I love this picture.

Mom and Dad - 2010

Mom and Dad – 2010

Here they are in 2011.

Mom and Dad - Thanksgiving 2011

Mom and Dad – Thanksgiving 2011

Here they are February of 2012 standing in front of the house my mother grew up in on Walnut Street in Texarkana.

Mom and Dad Feb 2012

Mom and Dad Feb 2012

Here they are today, on their 48th Anniversary!  I wish you many more happy years together Mom and Dad!

Mom and Dad - 11 Sep 2012

Mom and Dad – 11 Sep 2012

The Old Barn is Gone

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This is my mother when she was a little girl riding her horse Czar.  Notice the barn behind her?

Well, that barn is gone now.  It burned down Sunday, May 27, 2012 according to this news clipping that my Mom’s long time friend Jo Gwen Phillips sent her.  My mother received it in the mail today and came over to my house crying.

This is John T. Parks.

He built the barn, and lived there on the property. My grandparents Bill (William J.) and Mary Parks, and my mother also lived there with him. Granddad Parks sold the place to Arch W. Smith when my mother started first grade so they could move into town and she wouldn’t have to ride the school bus.  They moved downtown to 406 Walnut St. That house is still standing and in fact my mother and I were able to take a tour of it thanks to the nice lawyers that currently own it.

Reading this article highly upset my mother. You see, my mother has Alzheimer’s and there aren’t a lot of things she remembers.  However, anything involving her grandfather  J.T. Parks, she remembers vividly.

As a double whammy to her, when we were in Texarkana back in February for my Aunt Jane’s funeral we tried to find the old farm where the barn was, and sadly she couldn’t remember where it was.  Now it’s gone and so is the opportunity for her to visit it one last time.

This is Granddad Parks riding at the farm.  Notice the people at the fence?  I guess it was a gathering place!

Here’s another photo that shows quite a few people hanging around the fence.

This photo shows the inside of the barn.

I’m not sure who the man in this photo is, but you can see some of the barn.

I don’t have a good picture of the barn, but I think I’ll look up Lynn Smith and see what he has. I’m thankful he wrote this article and that we came across it. I’m just sorry my Mom is taking it so hard, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to see the barn standing.  I bet it was really something to see!


Category: Stories | Tags: , , ,

P.S. – Hang on to your pants cause here I come!

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Imagine my grandmother’s excitement when she received this telegram from my grandfather!

My grandfather, William John (Bill) Parks was gone for three years during World War II. When my grandmother, Mary Ball Parks and my mother, Mary Helen Parks went to the train station to pick him up, they walked right by him. They didn’t recognize him, so he shouted out to them, and my mother was shocked when she saw him.  Normally a big man, he was skin and bones, and his teeth had rotted. His feet were in terrible condition but he was home and he was alive.

During the time he was gone, my mother and grandmother lived with my grandfather’s father, JT Parks.  He owned a three-story home, at 406 Walnut in downtown Texarkana and he also took in several women whose men were away during the war.

My mother has fond memories of this time, though marked with sadness at the absence of her father.  He kept in touch when he could and they were always glad to hear from him.

Mrs. W.J. Parks - Honey boy is it lonesome. I really miss you. Wish I were home. I love you = Bill.

Mrs. W.J. Parks - Dearest Darling. Darling I long for you so much there is not an hour of the day that goes by that I don't think of you. I miss you terrible and love you with all my heart = Bill..

There were also news reports:

One thing is certain though, they were sure glad to pick him up that day at the train station, and it was a day my mother will never forget.  Not even now with her Alzheimer’s.

This is me with my grandfather at Christmas in 1974.

He died just four years after this picture, in 1978.

You are gone but not forgotten Daddy O!  I love you and miss you terribly!


Category: Military Monday | Tags: ,

D-Day Hero – Captain Sam H. Ball, Jr.

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That’s my Great Uncle Son, Captain Sam H. Ball, Jr. receiving from Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery himself the Distinguished Service Order of Great Britain in a field in Normandy.

Uncle Son was among the first of those who washed ashore on D-Day despite being fired upon by the waiting Germans. His mission was to clear underwater obstacles on the beach during the landing. Half his men failed to land and 25 percent of those who did, were casualties. Those who were left, rallied around Uncle Son as he reorganized the company and led them into the assault.

In a letter home to his parents, Bye and Wevie Ball he stated, “I am very happy to still be moving around. We were the assault engineers on the beaches of France. We came in as assault forces, so you see we were first. Whatever you picture was true. Our job was to demolish the beach obstacles, which we did. We did a beautiful job. I am sure proud of my company. When they said, ‘War is hell,’ they sure said a mouthful. You know it’s a funny feeling when you get off a boat and are being shot at with machine and rifle fire. Sure, we were scared. A man who is not is crazy. They they start throwing mortar and 88s at you. It’s not good for your health. Believe it or not, I didn’t even get a scratch, but my pants were sure being fanned by a machine gun.”

Then in November of 1944, he added the Bronze Star to his medals.

This is a picture of Uncle Son, with his wife Melba on his right, and my grandmother Mary Parks his sister, on his left.

My grandmother was always so proud of him. Up until the day she moved out of our house and into the assisted living center, she had a copy of his DSO hanging on her wall. She told any and every one who would listen, all about it.

I’m so thankful I didn’t let her toss all this stuff out, and I’m happy to let you know my Uncle Son was a great man. He was always kind to me and I consider it a privilege that I knew him. He was a true hero to me, and to our country.

You may be gone from this earth Uncle Son, but you are certainly not forgotten.


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