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You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant A family legacy

A family legacy

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and many area mothers spent the day being lavished with love by their families.

One Clover woman — Ida Catherine Terry — spent part of her Mother’s Day weekend thinking about her namesake grandmother — Ida Mae Terry — who almost lived to be 100 before her death in June 1995.

It’s funny how occasions like Mother’s Day rekindle memories, and people find themselves reliving stories of the past.

For Ida Catherine, that’s what she’s been doing a lot of lately.

She shared a few of the stories her elderly grandmother had passed on to her children and grandchildren over the years.

 Despite grandmother Ida Mae’s arthritis, she had a quick mind and retentive memory, her granddaughter recalled.

To pass on generations of family history, the elder Terry enjoyed telling stories about her childhood days of when the Terry family operated a small tobacco farm in Halifax County.

Here are just a few of her recollections:

w Mrs. Ida Mae Terry’s father, Charles Henry Terry, was born in 1865, and worked for the railroad returning to the family farm in Clover only on weekends.

w Her grandfather, Richard Ricks, was a slave bought by the Terry family. He later assumed the Terry name and that’s how Ida Mae came to be a Terry. 

w Another memory of her grandfather includes those of him handweaving cane baskets and straw brooms.

w She spent many a day of her youth working on the family farm, going to school and reading, something she enjoyed doing every chance she got.

Ida Catherine said her grandmother told the story of how each year the children looked forward to their daddy bringing home a world almanac, and that’s where her grandmother gained much of her worldly knowledge.

She also remembers her grandmother saying if she had her life to live over again, she wouldn’t do a thing differently.

Ida Catherine said she will always cherish these memories of her grandmother.

Talking with her on Mother’s Day weekend about her ancestors got me to thinking about how important it is for the younger generation to listen, commit to memory and even record stories about their family history that can be passed along to future generations.

Younger people may not appreciate it now, but when they get older, they will be glad to know someone cared enough to pass on the family legacy.


An enclosed garden 

One Halifax County resident has discovered the only way he will ever be able to have a garden that grows is by completely enclosing it with fencing.

Dan Shaw of Halifax said after watching the crows pull up the few remaining corn sprouts to eat the seed he’d planted, he simply gave up trying. 

But crows aren’t the only garden pests. You have the garden variety of hornworms, rabbits, squirrels, aphids, and let’s not forget deer. Deer rank high on the list of garden predators too.

 In the process of researching the interesting pests a gardener has to deal with, Farmer Dan did the calculations just to see how much deer ate in Halifax County every year. 

“It was so large a number I had to check it several times to make sure it was really true - 64 million pounds,” Dan said.

According to his calculations, Halifax County has a deer population estimated to be between 15 and 30 per square miles. With each one eating an average of seven pounds every day, we’re talking about some 25,000 deer eating as much as 64 million pounds of vegetation every year just in this one county. 

That’s a lot of vegetation deer consume annually.

Farmer Dan said gardeners can try to keep deer out with fencing, but he’s discovered white-tailed deer can jump almost eight feet high. 

His solution: Using fallen cedars for posts spaced eight feet apart to get the chicken wire fencing high enough. 

But a question that bugs him is what will he do if one morning he walks out to his enclosed garden area and finds a white tail buck stuck on top of his fence.

What then?

Check out Farmer Dan’s enclosed garden area on his webpage at