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JUST TWO WEEKS AWAY! Saturday & Sunday October 10th and 11th The 74th Reunion of the

Summer—Fall 2009

Thomas Marion Banks Family

Alice Jane Banks Terrell October 15, 1895 – April 12, 1984 by Bobby Terrell orn Alice Jane Banks on October 15, 1895 to Thomas Marion (Bud) Banks and Georgia Delura Acree-Banks, she was the 7th child of 11 children. On March 20, 1915, nineteen year old Alice married twenty-nine year old Alex Erwin Terrell. He would always be known as Alec. My mother was known as Ma-Alice, Aunt Alice, Miss Alice, Granny, and of course Momma. My Daddy‟s most often used term for my Momma was, and always was, at the top of his voice, “Whoa Alice!” Some folks in Carnesville knew Momma as Miz Turl and in later years living alone in a small trailer home, she was affectionately known as O‟Miss Turl.


Mother was widely acclaimed as the “Best Sunday Dinner host for all the Banks/Terrell family clan and most especially so by Preacher Williams, our big, very fat full time Pastor. Preacher Williams baptized me when I was saved at 12 years old. Inside this issue: Preacher Williams In Memoriam—Inez Terrell P.2 always said 12 was the proper age for boys to be “saved”. To this day I do not remember Alice Terrell . . . continued P.2 when girls need to be saved. My mother was easy going, solid as a rock, and a kind and courageous Christian soul who had absolutely no enemies. Everyone who knew her loved Miss Alice. She was renowned as the best cook of all. Mother worked for many years as one of about 4 cooks at the Carnesville Elementary School which was also combined with Franklin County High School‟s cafeteria. She was employed the very first or second year the cafeteria was open. I think I was in the second grade. She remained there until long after I graduated from high school in 1956. Every student, teacher, the janitors, and the principle, Jack Ratley, dearly loved my Momma and considered her the very, very best cook ever. Needless to say, even though I was proud of Momma‟s and Daddy‟s standing in the community, her working at the school put my life literally in a fish bowl.

Family News & Announcements


Welcome to our family— Lucy Jane Byrum Congratulations to Rebecca Dixon

Alice Terrell . . . continued


Funds needed for fence repairs


Alice Terrell . . . continued


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In Memoriam Sarah Inez Thomas Terrell, 86, of Lavonia, passed away Thursday morning, August 6, 2009, at the Cobb Health Care Center in Comer, GA. Born June 22, 1923, in Franklin County, she was the daughter of the late Dock Wilhite and Lora Frances Whiting Thomas. She was the widow of the late Banks Russell Terrell. The last survivor of her immediate family, she was the sister of the late Frank Thomas, Jimmie Cook, Louise Medlin, and Grace Thomas. She was a homemaker. She was a member of the Fairview Baptist Church. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Russell Banks and Karen Garrett Terrell, Lavonia, GA. Two grandchildren, Alicia Nicole Speers, Lavonia, and Christopher Paul Terrell, Morningsport, LA. Four great-grandchildren, Kinsey Elizabeth Speers, Brianna Regan Speers, Angel Nicole Sutton, and Wyatt Philip Terrell. We extend our deepest condolences to Rusty, Karen and family. continued from front page . . .

Every single teeny tiny little event was passed to Momma by the teachers and Mr. Ratley. By the time I got home from school “it got started”. The day‟s events were gone over in detail, “Bob, why did you do this, that and the other?” I remember getting a lot of whippins‟ at school. I think three in one day was my personal lifetime record. I‟ve never understood why my Momma and Daddy never once considered that my teachers were the ones who were wrong - that THEY were just plain mean! It was always me - NOT THEM - and when I got home on whipping days Momma said “go cut me a hickory off that peach tree, I am going to ware your butt out!” And did she ever! From reading this you might think that I was resentful or disrespectful towards my Momma and Daddy but that was not the case at all. I loved them dearly and looked up to them with the greatest respect and reverence. Still do. When I was about 14, driver‟s license age was 16, Daddy bought Banks a „40 Ford from D.C. Mitchell for I think, $350 dollars. Banks drove the car for a little while, then when he got enough money, he bought a new Chevrolet pickup. Daddy gave me the car on condition that I drive Momma to school and back everyday, which I did for about 3 years. No drivers license for at least the first two years, but back then all the Real Boys started driving around 14

and Sheriff Tom Watson (Andrews), state patrol, and local policemen simply ignored us. Life was good — me and my Momma got along great. My Momma worked all the time, it seemed. Momma worked full time at the school lunch room, helped Daddy with the milking, raised a few laying hens, bought and raised 100 “mail order” baby chicks to fryers every year. Back then it took about 12 weeks to raise a 3 lb. fryer. Today it takes six or seven weeks to dress out a 4 or 5 lb. broiler. Today fryers are called broilers. Daddy seemed to always be hay-baling, syrupmaking or other jobs that kept him away from hoeing the corn and cotton picking which fell to my Mother a lot. We also had day labor “hired hands” that pitched in when needed. I remember the time Momma and I were hoeing cotton; Momma stopped, leaned on the hoe and said, “oh, my back is killing me,” and then resumed working. She probably hoed all of her row and 2/3rds of mine. A few feet further down the roe I stopped, leaned on my hoe and said, “oh, my back is killing me”. Momma looked at me and said “Shoot, you‟re too little to have a back, now get back to hoeing”. Momma and hired hands did most of the hoeing and cotton picking while Daddy and I did the plowing with a horse named Maude, and later with a tractor. Momma loved

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Family News & Announcements by Branch

Aunt Viola’s Branch We have a new grandchild, Lucy Jane Byrum, born 21 July 2009 in San Diego, California. Proud parents are Dustin & Christine Byrum. Proud grandparents are Bruce & Jane Byrum. Congratulations, and welcome to the family, Lucy!

Aunt Bertie’s Branch Rebecca Dixon (Becky) received a promotion as of September 5th. In addition to the Agency Chaplain for Volunteers of America of the Carolinas, she has been named Regional Housing Manager. She will be supervising 12 staff members and monitoring 11 affordable housing communities in North and South Carolina. These communities provide permanent housing for 380 low-income elderly persons and/or persons with severe disabilities. Congratulations, Becky! We‟re proud of you!

to remind us that on her 12th birthday she picked 320 pounds of cotton. That was her personal lifetime record, and she was so proud of that feat! Momma made butter, froze, processed and canned countless meats and vegetables. Momma had a huge vegetable garden and helped Daddy with a few acres of corn and cotton as well. We sold pork chops, sausage, chickens, butter and eggs and fresh roasting ears, as well as other vegetables, to Mr. Clyde‟s Grocery Store. Shortly after Daddy died in 1960, Mr. Clyde called Mother (we got a telephone and television when I was in the 8 th or 9th grade) and said, “Miss Alice, the next time Banks or Bob brings you to town (Momma never drove in her life) come by the grocery store and we will settle up Alec‟s account”. Momma said, “Mr. Clyde I‟ll come by, but it will not do any good „cause I don‟t have any money to pay you right now - but I will pay you when I can.” Mr. Clyde‟s response; “Oh no, Miss Alice, that is not the problem. Alec has a credit balance so I owe you money. You can leave it on the books or I will pay you, whichever suits”. My Momma and Daddy never paid cash money for groceries for their entire lives that I know of. At least not until Momma was very old and living by herself. Mother loved telling about the time she was five years old, riding with Granddaddy Bud and baby brother, Lee on a muledriven wagon piled high with fodder. (For those of you that don‟t know about fodder, it‟s the partially dried corn leaves that are pulled in the late fall but before the corn “ears” are picked or “pulled”. The fodder is bundled by hand, and tied tightly with a piece of binder twine, hauled to the barn for storage and later fed to cattle during the winter as required roughage, which is added to a little bit of hay, cotton seed meal, and hulls, for a complete wintertime cattle diet. Daddy always said it was the cotton seed meal that made the cows give good and abundant milk.) Anyway, the mules were pulling the heavily loaded wagon of fodder with Granddaddy Bud, Momma, and baby brother Lee riding on top. This was at the Old Banks Home Place on New Hope Road at the foot of Currahee Mountain near Toccoa. Around the bend on the mountain road comes flying the very first automobile any of them had ever seen. The automobile driver blasted his horn, the mules bolted, and the wagon tumbled in the ditch throwing Momma and Granddaddy onto the bank clear of the wreck. Lee was buried in the ditch under the fodder and wagon. Facing the possibility of his young son‟s demise, Granddaddy scrambled to his feet, throwing fodder bundles aside to finally get to Lee at the very bottom of the pile. After all that worry, there sat baby Lee playing in the fodder bundles—having the time of his life while Papa and everyone else looked on in disbelief that he was still alive. When I was just a very little tyke, Uncle Marion, Aunt Bessie, their 3 wild, wild sons and their daughter, Little Marion lived in Birmingham. Uncle John, Aunt Sue and their 3 boys, Johnny, Charles and George lived in Spartanburg., S.C. (Johnny was the absolute best dresser in the entire Banks clan!) Automobile transportation in the early 40‟s was pretty primitive. Most roads were dirt and terribly muddy with many impassible mud holes in the winter time. Only the major roadways were paved. I remember when the road from Carnesville to Commerce (the way to Uncle Groves‟ house) was first paved. Highway 106 to Toccoa via the Red Hill Community was paved years later when I was a teenager. Trains were the best mode of transporta-

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tion if going any distance. Anyway, when school was out and summer rolled around, Tom Watson (Andrews) the sheriff, would come over from the jail in Carnesville and tell Momma or Daddy that they had a person-to-person phone call from their son, Marion, and that he would call back at such and such time. The operator would ask when that person would be available, and she would call back to connect the two parties. After Daddy had agreed to go to the Sheriff‟s office to accept the person-to-person call and after the Sheriff Tom Watson (Andrews) left, Momma would invariably say “I guess Marion and Bess want to get rid of them ruffian boys for the summer. So, they‟re going to send them to me for the summer one more time”. “I get so tired of washing and ironing and breaking up fights, I can‟t see straight”. Daddy would say, “Well Alice, if you don‟t want them just tell Marion they can‟t come this year”. Momma would say “Alec, you know I‟m not going to do that‟”. “Those boys - Pete, Russ, Tom, and my Banks, and Groves and Ethel‟s boys too — they all look forward to visiting with each other every summer and they have a wonderful time. They do fight, holler, kick, and scream at each other, and one day I‟m afraid they‟re gonna kill each other, but just go tell Marion to put „em on the train. You can pick „em up tomarra in Toccoa”. “No sense asking Ethel to take „em, she won‟t put up with „em and I don‟t blame her”. Sure enough, the next day the boys would show up at the rail station and we would have an extended stay of wild ruffians for several weeks each summer. I‟ll never forget those summers—but that‟ll have to be another article! (More from Bobby Terrell in future newsletters.)


hen I was about 14, I rode my bicycle over to Granny Terrell's little trailer, which was about 8 miles away. Along the way, I made a stop at the bank to deposit the money I‟d been saving, but forgot to keep something out for myself. After a little while, I wanted to go to Sullivan's Drug Store for an ice cream. Of course, Granny gave me the money, but laughed about it since I had put all of my own money in the bank.

Rusty Terrell, Banks Family Treasurer

L to R: Russell Banks, Banks Terrell, Peter King, Tom Banks, Bill Banks, John Banks & Truitt Banks


fter reading Bobby‟s story, you can no-doubt see that Aunt Alice loved her family greatly and more than anything, she wanted the children to enjoy happy times together. We can personally vouch for Alice Terrell‟s exceptional commitment to the Banks/Terrell family by the love she showed us after our mother died in 1963. She packed her bags and followed us to Shaw AFB, Sumter, South Carolina to help our Daddy (Bill Banks) take care of us. We were 12 years old, and more than ever, we needed motherly guidance and love. Aunt Alice stepped in to fill that need. We will always be grateful for this dear, dear lady who carried us through our toughest storm. She was our hero. Donna (Banks) Dodd and Diane (Banks) Leonard

Special Request: The Ralph Banks cemetery needs about 20 ft. of chain-linked fence replaced. If you would like to make a small monetary donation toward this project, you may send your check to Rusty Terrell at the following address: Rusty Terrell 1982 North Fairview Rd. Lavonia, GA 30553 Next Newsletter Do you have something to share for the next newsletter . . . births, graduations, weddings, engagements, great family recipes, thoughts, stories, memories. Let me hear from you!! Email, or send directly to my home address: Donna Dodd, 3425 Spinnaker Way, Acworth, GA 30102 Next newsletter is targeted for February, 2010.

Summer-Fall 2009 Banks Newsletter  

Alice Terrell . . . continued P.2 Family News & Announcements Inside this issue: October 15, 1895 – April 12, 1984 Needless to say, even...