I was born August 28, 1940, to D. Ray and Lee Ella Jones in a little two room house located in the Bloomfield Community near Pilot Point, Texas. Granny and Pa Beaver were present at this blessed event, as were Grandma and Grandpa Jones who lived nearby. My childhood days were spent playing in the woods near our house, riding my bicycle, playing cowboys with friends who lived nearby, and, as I became older, riding my horse Mack. Mack was a special horse, but one that my dad had trouble hand ling, and he bucked off my Uncle Casey a couple of times. They were rough with him when he gave them trouble, but when I came along I handled him gently, and soon had him under control. I could do most anything I wanted to with the horse, although my mother said he would kill me if he got a chance.
My days of growing up are filled with many fond memories, among which are:
- The love and guidance that Mother and Dad gave me every day.
- Mother seeing that we were in church every Sunday and always encouraging me to do the right thing.
- Dad teaching me how to take care of an automobile and all of the farm equipment, and to not be afraid of hard work.
- The many family get togethers with the Jones Family.
- The special occasions when some of the Beaver family would visit, especially Uncle Charlie.
- The times Granny Beaver would come to stay for awhile. She would sit by our wood stove each morning and comb her long hair, and then she would roll it into a bun on the back of her head. She would have Dad cut her some elm twigs that she could chew and make what she called her tooth brush with which she dipped her snuff. Granny loved Dr. Pepper drinks. Each night as we sat down to supper, Mother would say, “Granny, would you like to have a Dr. Pepper?” Granny would always say, “No, I don’t be lieve so tonight”. As soon as Mother and everyone were seated Granny would say, “Lee, I believe I will have one of those peppers”.
Hog killing day at the Jones farm was a special event. Dad had a good setup for this operation, so when a cold north er came all the neighbors would come to kill hogs. I would cry to stay home from school on those days, especially if my cousin. Tommy Lassiter from Dallas was going to be there. We couldn’t wait to get a strip of meat from the hog called the melt, and we would put it on a stick and roast it over a fire. I thought that was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten, until later when I went to work for a meat packer in Dallas and found out that it was the worst piece of meat in a hog.
I graduated from Pilot Point High School in 1958, where I played football, basketball and entered track. While in high school, I, with four other boys formed a band called the Rock-A Bouts. I played the drums and we had a great time for several years. I played with borrowed drums for awhile, but one day when Mother and I were in Dallas I talked her into buying me a set of drums. They cost $150.00, which was a lot of money then. We filled the trunk and the back seat of the car with drums and went home. When Dad saw them and found out how much they cost he said, “Lee Ella, you have done some crazy things before, but this tops them all”.
I continued to play with the band after I started to North Texas State University, from where I graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1962. The money I earned , plus working in a grocery store part time, helped with my college expenses.
In I960, while I was in college, the Jones farm sold, and Mother and Dad moved to Pilot Point. This was a very sad time for the family, as the little house on the farm had been our home such a long time. The house in Pilot Point soon became home to us and everyone loved it, especially the extra room it provided.
When the farm was finally all sold Dad bought two acres across the road and moved the little house and barn to that location. This place became his and Lee Ella’s hobby after they retired. My family and I now enjoy it and we spend the night out there once in awhile. It’s nice to get out there away from the bustle of the city, and it sure brings back a lot of pleasant memories.
I graduated from college June 1, 1962, and on June 29, 1962, the best thing in my life happened to me. I married Frankye Cheatham, whom I had been dating for about two years. Frankye is from Tioga, about six miles from Pilot Point. We moved to Dallas and I was hired by Neuhoff Packing Company. Frankye was employed by Texas Instruments.
During the next several years, more blessings came to us, as Leslie Ann was born August 3I, 1964, then Kristi Jan was born August 19, 1966, followed by Kelly Sue July 31, 1969. These three girls have brought us much joy over the years, and they brought joys untold to Pa-Pa and Nana Jones. The girls loved to go to their house and eat all the good food that Nana cooked, including her famous fried chicken and her strawberry cake. Shortly after they would get there, Pa-Pa would tell them that he had seen some little elves go into the garage, and they better check it out and see what they left. Upon entering the garage, of course, there would be bags of candy for each. The girls liked to make mud pies, go to the little country house, and brouse around in the variety store on the square in Pilot Point. One instance, when the girls walked up to enter the variety store, a lady who was parked in front of the store next door hit the accellerator instead of the brake and ran right through the front of the store. This made quite an impression on the girls as well as it did the store fixtures.
This could go on and on, but in closing I would like to bring you up to date on the Jones family at the present time.
- We live at 3553 Stillwater Drive, in Dallas, where we have lived for 20 years.
- I am employed with Kreck Foods as Purchasing Manager.
- Frankye is employed with the Richardson School District as a secretary.
- Leslie is a senior at Oklahoma Christian College in Edmond, Oklahoma, and she plans to teach upon graduating.
- Kristi is a sophomore at Oklahoma Christian, also majoring in education.
- Kelly is a junior at Lake Highlands High School and she has not finalized her plans for after graduation from high school. She is the only one of the girls at home, now, and is our baby.
All of my family are members of the Church of Christ, and we attend at Richardson East in Richardson, Texas. The girls have been very active in church over the years, going on mission campaigns all over the United States. In 1984 Leslie was in London, England for a month with a group from Oklahoma Christian. This past summer, Leslie and Kristi were both in Canada for two weeks with a group from the congregation they attend in Oklahoma City.
We will all look forward to reading the book upon its completion, and thanks to you, Aunt Lois, for putting it together.