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By Donna Flood
Chapter 22 - What is Weldon Doing?

"I have a spare room where you can stay until you make up your mind where you want to go.” Weldon had gone from his visit at Chilocco to his Uncle Leon and Aunt Vee’s home in Ponca City.

The tired man unloaded his duffle bag into that room and left it on the floor. Just as he had always done in his Uncle’s home, he dropped down into a waiting bed and went to sleep. Weldon could go to sleep in an instant.

“Weldon must be really tired.” Vee told Leon.

“Yeah well. You know he is.” Leon knew Weldon as well as his own son because of the many trials he and Vee had to take him through after his Mother’s death.

“He’s been through a time of it, and it will take a while to wind down.”

Leon’s Oklahoma colloquialism saw him always using an expression learned as a child or of which he even made up. It wouldn’t have been Leon if he had said, “He’s been traumatized and must have time for adjusting.”

“Someone’s honking outside.” One of the children told their parents.

“Well, look at this! Mariah is here.” Leon was always the one to answer the door.

“Tell her to come in the house.” Vee instructed Leon.

Mariah, continued to honk her horn and they knew she had no intention of leaving her car.

“Tell Weldon to get his things, I’ve come to take him home.”

It was an order given with a voice to say she wasn’t interested in socializing and for that matter didn’t seem happy her brother had come to his Uncle’s home and not hers.

Weldon was standing in the middle of the floor by this time and had picked up his duffle bag.

“I’ll go on with her. There won’t be any peace if I don’t.”

Weldon and Mariah had always been close, but for some reason he wanted to spend some time with his uncle.

“I’ll be back over when I get a car and am more settled.” Weldon half turned and spoke to his aunt and uncle as he was walking through the door toward his sister’s car.

At Chilocco I worked through the last part of my senior year. Mother was always having to come up with a dress, casual play clothes, a swim suit or some other garment for this or that activity. I appreciated her choices because I knew how hard it was for her to come up with extra money. When I was selected to run for prom queen, she came after me to take me to Ponca so she could have a dress altered to fit. The dress was a soft, muted blue, silk One of my friends bought me a matching necklace. I was ready for the prom.

“What is Weldon doing,” I was curious because I had not seen him since he visited me at school.

“He’s working, driving a truck, hauling pipe line,” Mother always seemed to know where he was and what he was doing.

“Uncle Dean came up the other day to see me.” I told Mother.

“He did? What did he want?” Mother asked.

“He brought me a long flat box from Mariah. She sewed me a beautiful dress and I wore it to the social that week-end. It fit just perfectly. I wonder how she did that?” I asked Mother.

“Very carefully, I’m sure.” Mother was smiling because we both knew what a perfectionist Mariah always was.

I often thought about Weldon and didn’t think too much about what he was doing. I knew he was busy, but I was too young to know about the hearts and minds of the Jones men. Their values were imprinted upon their genes with such a depth there was no end to their feelings of dedication to society. It would only be after years of living that I would I realize the great dedication they had to achieving that dream of bringing a finer way of life through so many avenues and to have the moral courage to stand alone in what they were doing. One of the Jones men of ancestry had this written about him:

He was greatly successful, financially. In fact, he left enough money to build and maintain a hospital in Sherman, Texas. However, as successful as he was financially, he was as unsuccessful in his personal life.

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