Relative merits comparison to president

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Charlene and Corey Banks, have proven that good teens can come from single parent homes if they are reared properly. This being said, it does not mean I am promoting them. I am only saying you should try to do the best for those who you choose to bring into this world.

Last weekend I traveled with my club, Les Gemmes Inc., to Cowtown, N.J., and missed viewing Ronald Reagan’s funeral because of my working hours and preparing to leave. However, I did record it on my VCR, and late on Sunday after I had attended a dinner in my grand-nephew’s honor, I began realizing that Reagan’s funeral was quite similar to the dinner. I learned more about the man as I had my nephew earlier. The big difference was to be hearing positive things about Banks while he is still alive. Then I wondered how could I combine the two in one column.

Banks, 19, graduated from Lakeland High School on Monday. Prior to the climax of this great event, Charlene made preparations to gather the Lee, Banks, Vann, Wall, and McAdoo families together to sponsor a congratulatory dinner in his honor. I knew that Corey was an extraordinary person, but since I seldom see him, I never realized how much he had become such a responsible person and mature young man.

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Reagan was a Republican president and I am a Democrat. Even with these two different qualities, I really began to respect the man especially when I heard about what he was all about.

Barbara Walters from Channel 13 News did a report on him and revealed how he wrote a love letter to Nancy every day when he was away from her and never let a day go by without saying, &uot;I love you.

President George Bush said at the funeral in the Washington Episcopal Catheral that Reagan said he passed through many crowded rooms during his presidency, but only one person could make him feel lonely when she left the room.

I also learned that Reagan was a religious man and had great strength and faith in God. Bush asked where does that faith come from and where is that courage learned.

&uot;It is the faith of a boy who read the Bible with his Mom,&uot; said Bush. &uot;it is the faith of a man lying in an operating room who prayed for the one who shot him before he prayed for himself.

Like Reagan’s mother, Charlene kept Corey and his sister in church and Sunday School and any other church activities for teens that were going on. She has always put her children first and has always tried to do what is best for them.

There was also a bit of humor in Bush’s speech about Reagan. He said that once some actors including actor Robert Cummings saw Reagan acting beyond his movies. Cummings was said to be sitting with others while observing Reagan doing this. Cummings then asked him had he considered becoming president. Reagan asked Cummings, ‘President of what? &uot;President of the United States,&uot; said Cummings. To that statement Reagan asked Cummings, &uot;What’s the matter, don’t you like my acting either?

Well, Corey displays the same bit of humor in his personality.

For the past two years, he has been taking advantage of his great-great-aunt Maddie D. Vann’s knowledge by going to her home every day after school to get his homework done with her help.

Vann stated Sunday that he would clutter up her dining room table so much she asked him did he have to do it. To that question Corey replied, &uot;What is more important, your dining room table or my education?&uot;

Crowds roared with laughter at both different speakers.

I also learned that when Banks brought his homework to Vann’s home, he looked at old newspapers that were placed on the table, would take words from his books that he couldn’t pronounce, place them on the paper, and would divide them into syllables for pronouncing and understanding. Naturally he also had his dictionary with him and his thesaurus. Vann said he would then take a dictionary, look up the word and pronounce it by syllables. These are some of the actions that cause him to maintain the honor roll.

I have heard from my sister, Earlene Banks, that he has stayed at her house until 10 p.m. and could still get up the next morning to make it to school on time. His mother told me that before he went to school, he would read a little religious pamplet called &uot;Our Daily Bread&uot; and the related scripture and pray every morning before he walked out of the door. According to many family members and friends, they have never known Banks to swear, drink or smoke.

He is quite active in the church and everyone expressed their love for him at his dinner. It seem evident that has mother has brought him up in the way he should go, and at present, he is not departing from it. She is also working with his sister, Charnele, and yesterday morning attended an honors program that she was in at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

Just like Reagan, Banks said he believes that people are basically good, that gentlemen should do the kindest things; he practices the golden rule and believe in the power of prayer. Now I’m thinking, with these similar qualities my grand-nephew could be the first black president.

Corey will be entering Virginia State University in Petersburg on Aug. 20 after returning from camp as a counselor.

I just want to say: keep up the good work Corey, because now it is your time to prepare to fulfill your dreams as a Trojan, and later as a productive and well-respected American citizen.

Evelyn Wall is a staff writer and regular News-Herald columnist. She can be contacted at 934-9615 or via e-mail: