ODENVILLE – Irma Banks used to work at Newberry’s at the Eastwood Mall. That’s where she purchased her first frogs.
“They had four of them for $1,” she said. “It was the kind you could put in your plants.”
That was back in the 1970s. Today, Banks is 84 years old and simply known as “The Frog Lady” because she has between 4,500 and 5,000 images of frogs throughout her house, inside and out, and in every room.
“I’ve just been collecting frogs all through the years,” she said.
When asked which frog was her favorite, Banks said all of them. She said they keep her company.
Banks took pride walking into each room of her home showing off all the frogs she has displayed. When people come to visit, she enjoys taking them to each room.
Although there is plenty of green displayed throughout her home, her favorite color is blue because her eyes are blue.
“One year at Christmas, I received 29 frogs besides the other gifts I got,” Banks said. “I have also received frogs or cards with frogs on them for my birthday.”
The biggest frog she has is a stuffed animal that sits in a chair in her den. People have actually painted little trinkets of frogs to give to her.
She has several puzzles of frogs that are displayed on walls in her home. She has a frog clock, ceramic frogs, coasters with frogs on them, stuffed animals of frogs, a shower curtain with images of frogs on it, just to name a few.
In the kitchen, there are coffee cups, a tea kettle, fly flaps that are a frog image, hand towels, refrigerator magnets, a canister set, wind chimes, etc.
“You name it and I’ve got it,” she said.
Someone even gave her several real bullfrogs, took them to a taxidermy and had them stuffed. She keeps them in the corner of her dining room, right beside the sliding glass door that goes to the backyard. Banks also has frogs sitting on her chandelier above her dining room table.
Banks lives alone, so she does have a sitter, Stephanie Brasher, who comes on a regular basis.
“She makes my day every day,” Brasher said. “She keeps me on my toes and keeps me laughing. She has an unbelievable abundance of frogs. I have never seen this many frogs in my entire life.”
Banks attends the Odenville Senior Center every Tuesday and Thursday.
Every Tuesday, she calls bingo for those who want to play.
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.