Lee Otis Jones, and spouse
picture was taken at the wedding of my sister's girl. Dad passed away
October 31, 1986. This was four years before his death. He suffered from
hemorrhage from his nose because of injuries he sustained as a young man
with an accident involving a spirited race horse. We, of his family,
fought through so many near death incidents. The love we had for Dad
sustained us through those traumatic times. His doctor, Dr. Paul Davis,
worked so carefully with him and his skill, I'm sure, gave Dad many years
of life he would not have had otherwise.
Dad was a deep thinking
man, but this didn't stop him from enjoying all the patterns of life lived
by those around him. He was equally as impressed with the ways of a little
Indian woman as that of a burly old cowboy. "No love lost, we'll do okay,
we settled down, the young one's will pass it on down," are Oklahoma
phrases sung by Chuck Dunlap in one of his songs. If Dad could have known,
the descendant of the Collins family would he ever have loved the young
Chuck goes on, "Leave your
troubles far behind, I'll be travelin' lite, just a pack on my back and a
pole in my hand, some time to unwind." When we hear Chuck set these phases
to the music of his ringing guitar tears well up in the eyes of our family
and we aren't even embarrassed for each other to see them.
Chuck sings, "When a friend
lends a hand, and a hand is your friend." This was the philosophy Lee used
as he worked to build the Jones place. People worked for him with willing
devotion. To say he accomplished the work with ease is not a true
statement. There was a constant maneuvering Lee had to do to keep the
place functioning and progressing. It was too bad that he wasn't able to
work as well with the younger one's who grew up anxious to enjoy the
fruits of his hard work without knowing what went into the establishing
How could they know about
the hired hands who worked the cattle with a toothache only to have a wife
pull the tooth with pliers so they wouldn't have to leave cows while they
were calving. The young people had no comprehension of what went into the
work in the freezing cold weather while the cowboy rode along with Lee on
horses across the range to care for cattle. Stepping off the horse and all
at once realizing their legs felt to be stiff and frozen were things they
hardly even discussed so how could the young people know. Especially, the
one's who married into the family who had no experience with ranching.
There was a sadness too as
Lee spoke about his disappointments before he died with words like, "Lost
everything." "We lost everything Dad and his Dad worked so hard to get."
For him it was important, but we were too well protected by his love we
didn't even know of what he spoke. Not until after he died and the
researches as to the family's history were we able to understand.
Therefore, if the lines of
this man's face, the steady blue eyed steel stare, and the rather grim
look to his mouth makes Lee look hard, don't be fooled. He was meek which
simply means he was the most patient of men who stuck steadfast to his
beliefs and struggled to pass them on to "powerful young men." They picked
up on his teachings and who knows how many have learned from them. Mother,
Velma is living today, January 26, 2003 at ninety years young.
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