HOW TO KEEP UP WITH THE
Stillwater is only
forty miles almost as the crow flies from Ponca City, our town. That didn't
matter though because it might have as well been Dallas or New York City for
the degree of stage fright I was having. Here I was speaking in front of
these authors who were seasoned writers with degrees in English, one a
publisher of eleven books, and others who not only did literary work but
were brilliant in their careers at the University.
Oh well, Jones people
are known for their bare faced, audacious behavior and hopefully I am no
exception. There wasn't any worry about being so bold as to be rude. I was
too scared for that.
The following is my
outline which I followed fairly closely. My presentation was received with
respect and appreciation. I kept watching the small audience to see if
anyone was nodding off or bored out of their mind. I didn't see that. All
kept their attention focused on what was being said.
When time came to ask
for questions there were numbers of lively comments about one or another of
the pictures I showed to them or a story told. Being too short on cash at
this time of year I did have to make some sacrifices to have the pictures
enlarged to 11x14 and then plasticized so they would stand on the wire easel
My daughter-in-law did
a video of my talk. I was able to study it after I came home. What I saw was
Indian hands almost talking in sign language. The joke among the folks is
how one speaker talked about a buffalo hunt with his fore fingers making a
loping sign, one hand right behind the other to indicate two buffalo
running. I wasn't quite that bad but almost. I'll remember to use a little
less “sign language.”
Here are my notes:
Stillwaters Writers Group
November 20, 2004
First of all let me express
my appreciation for being invited to speak here before the Stillwaters
I have also enjoyed making
the acquaintance of the ones that are are here today.
I have taken this opportunity
to invite members of my family today in order that they might all see what
is happening with one branch of their family.
I'm very proud of Kathy
Flood, my daughter-in-law. She is a strong person, a willing hard worker
and very well manages my son's, her husband's, small ranch with all the
involvement there, livestock, etc.
To stand before this group,
who represent so much energy and force through their years of hard work and
dedication to creative writing makes me very humble. I'm not a writer by
skill and have had to keep referring back to “Grammar for
The wealth of information
dropped into my lap by my father upon his death made me feel responsible for
sharing his culture with anyone interested enough to read it.
Dad protected these old
photo's for a lifetime and just before he died while he was very ill he took
the time to write names and dates on the backs for me. Dad was of Welch
ancestors. He worked hard, first with ranching and then in a foundry.
Outside of the striving to teach us the values he loved there wasn't much
time to go into his linage or history.
When I saw these old photo's
I was startled to see the history. I am an artist and sometimes look closer
at things than I should. My curiosity was so aroused. With years of
research many questions have been answered for me, and hopefully I can share
this information not just for family but for everyone. Although these
pictures are not going to be in this first book it is my hope to eventually
have these published also.
Photo 1. Hun-Kah-mohn-Kah,
Sas a Chief (Minnie Smith) with Nancy Bellzona Collins Jones, Mrs. Joseph
Hubbard Jones, grandmother.
2. Dora Jones Frenchman, Mrs. Edward Frenchman, sister to Joseph
3. Grace SnakeHide, (Berry) Jeff Smith and unknown bodyguard.
4. Velma Pensoneau Jones, Mrs. Lee Otis Jones, gggranddaughter of Paschal
Pensoneau who was dit, Le Fluer, France. Pensoneau's have their own museum
out of St. Louis. Uncle Louison was a lawyer there and left a biography for
his brother, Paschal, our grandfather.
5. Adah Gertrude Jones, Dan Wadley with child
Notes left in 1986 by Aunt
Gertrude partially inspired me to begin this journey of recording and saving
history for the youth of our family. I did not want to be so busy with
everyday chores that I not leave with our youth what I have learned about
this wonderful, very large family of JONESES, thus the title “HOW TO KEEP UP
WITH THE JONESES.” READ PAGES 342, 343, 346
An early day settler once
told me, “The only thing to defeat a person in Oklahoma is “Mental
Depression” Through seeing the spirit, dedication to family, love of life,
in these old stories about the Joneses it is my hope the young people will
learn how to rise above their own sorrows, and like champions “keep coming
back to win”