Appendix 7: Memories in The Story of Grandma J.
Memories from the family
A Tribute to my Parents
by Shirley M. Cloud
I'm finding it almost impossible to pick one incident from a lifetime of memories about my mother. Indeed, I'm finding it impossible to separate my mother from my father in those memories.
During the long years of the Great Depression, the years of WW II, the deaths, the problems all families face as the years go on; there was always that deep abiding love that gave stability to our lives. No matter how we rebelled and fought against the fundamental teaching they had instilled in us, there was always that abiding love to sustain us.
There was always the knowledge that no matter what the problem we faced, we had their whole-hearted support. Emotional, physical, or financial, they were always there. Even the supernatural entered into that support.
After the Korean Conflict started, Bob was recalled and sent back overseas as a sharpshooter. Helen was back living with the folks. Art and I had set-up practice in Audubon; patients didn't bother to pay promptly, if at all. We found ourselves completely without funds. That included no food. not even coffee!!
I prayed Helen wouldn't come up that week-end because, for one thing, coffee was d staple in her diet at that time. Another thing, we would have to admit our problem!
She did come!!-- After we had visited for a while, she asked Art to go downstairs with her. Shortly they returned, each carrying two sacks of groceries, with more in the car. Mother had had a dream that we were going hungry. She told Dad!! They went to the store and bought the shelves bare; including meat and all the staples.
A miracle as far as Art and I were concerned. What more is there to say? Oh, yes, we had coffee for Helen and we had a great weekend together.
How does one say "Thank you" to parents like that?
by Helen Jones Junod
I have always been proud of the fact that I was named after my mother, Zita Helen Jones. Although I have always liked the name of Zita and would not have disliked being named that, it's better that they chose her middle name for me as it would have been almost impossible to duplicate her life. My mother has always been a beacon and guiding light for anyone needing help and support. Most of the time she's been able to sense we need help without having to be asked for it.
It is very hard to speak of my mother and not include my father. They were an inseparable couple whose foremost concerns were their life and enjoyment of their family.
One of the greatest admirations for me and also for my husband was their ability to never interfere with our married lives as to how we reared our children or on any decisions we made concerning our personal business. I know there were many times when they did not approve of what or how we were handling matters but, never once, did they say a word. If their opinion or advice were asked, they would be more than willing to give it.
I feel very honored to have a role model like her but know that, no matter how hard I try, I' IL never be able to help the number of people she has helped or give the support to so many.
Thanks, Zita Helen Jones, for being my mom and for trying to instill in me the virtues you have lived by. Hopefully, I can do the same for my family.
by Kendra Jones Garrett
I have hundreds of great memories of Grandma. She was always good for a shopping trip or a snack. She even gave me my love of goofy kitchen gadgets and buying stuff at the State Fair, where she and I used to watch demonstrations of irresistible and, of course, necessary gadgets that we couldn't imagine how we had ever lived without.
I was lucky enough to live in the apartment behind Grandma and Grandpa's when Dad was doing his internship at Broadlawns. I was about four that year. Grandma cooked for us every night, and Grandpa used to sop up the meat juice with bread. Wednesday was nickel day at Riverside Park. I never really thought about how Grandma happened to be available on Wednesday afternoons, but she was. She would take me over to ride the rides, eat ice cream, and swat mosquitoes. Funny, I never really noticed the mosquitoes until I was much older. Tamia says I talked her into riding something that went upside down by promising her it didn't. I don't remember that, either. Anyway, it seemed like we went out for rides and lemon ice cream almost every night that year. I don't remember that we had a winter that year. Maybe when you are four and live behind your grandmother's house, it's always summer.
Later, after we moved to Colfax, I visited a lot. Grandma always had housework that needed to get done on Saturdays. My job was to dust the chair rails on the dining room chairs because I was the best person to do it. Everyone else was too tall, but I could get under those chairs better than anyone else. I worked hard on those chairs and never caught on that while I was busy dusting, I was also out of the way so that real work could be done. After the housework was finished we could go out and buy something at the five and ten on Thirtieth St. across from the fairgrounds.
I hated to see the old bench in the backyard go. I had another very important job painting the post on that bench while Grandma and Grandpa were painting the rest of the house. I was always quite sure that the only reason the bench lasted as long as it did was because I did such a great job painting it.
Grandma has given me a wealth of childhood memories and quite a few adult ones as well. I particularly remember the way she has always made me feel loved and valued. She's been doing that ever since I can remember.
by Stan Junod
As I look back over the years, I remember Grandma and Grandpa Jones being very family orientated. Holiday and family get-togethers at 2719 East Grand in Des Moines were full of excitement and activities. All the aunts, uncles, and cousins were in attendance, where a good time was had by all.
I remember Grandma J. getting up so early on Thanksgiving Day to prepare and "squeeze" a 25 pound turkey in the white roaster in the basement. The pleasing aroma would wake one instantly and make you want to skip breakfast and go right to the 2:00 p.m. dinner. As everyone gathered, the excitement really seemed to build. By 10:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving evening the 25 pound bird was reduced to a "sack of bones."
Grandma and Grandpa would visit all of us in Sioux City a few times a year. We could never figure out why they would not come up Friday night, because we all were anxious to see them. As they arrived by Saturday noon, I quickly realized why they came that day-- a stop at Jung's Bakery in Carroll, Iowa was a must. Grandma said it was always Grandpa who wanted to stop at Jung's, but I really think it was a mutual agreement. Those weekends always went so fast, but I always looked forward to their next trip to Sioux City.
As families get larger and spread out more, it makes family get-togethers a little tougher to attendHowever Grandma "J" has influenced me by keeping the thought of "family" as the number one institution.
Thanks for the memories, Grandma.
by Thomas A. Cloud
I feel lucky that Grandma J has been everything to me that a Grandma should be. She was always my "Grandma JJ" and I was always her "Tommy Arthur." I remember being warm and comfortable sitting in her lap in her special red chair. I have many fond memories of Sunday dinners eating fried chicken, corn on the cob, and strawberry Jello with bananas. Her house was always fun to visit because all of the cousins could play hide and seek in the basement, walk down the street for ice cream, and watch the fireworks in the front yard during the State Fair.
I enjoyed the times that I stayed at her house and did a few odd jobs for her. I wish that I was closer now so that I could give back a little of what she's given to me over the years. I'm glad that my son can now call her "Grandma JJ."
by Marna Jones Hopkins
Zita Helen and Kenneth Clay Jones used to be just Grandma and Grandpa Jones to our branch of the family. When Megan was born, and we realized we needed to call Mom and Dad by those names, so Zita and Kenneth became Grandma and Grandpa J. It has been so many years now, that it's difficult for many to remember her by any other name. Except me.
For some reason, when I was small, I called her "Doey." She remembers clearly when I was young enough to use the affectionate term and so for many years now, she has again become "Doey" to me.
I remember with such love the times I was able to spend with Grandma and Grandpa Jones on East Grand Ave. in Des Moines. I remember:
* There were few places I could stay when I was growing up because I got so homesick. I could stay overnight with Grandma and Grandpa, though. It must have felt like home.
* Lying in the "front room" and listening to the 10:00 news.
* Hearing the traffic swish by on Grand Avenue. I still love to hear traffic at night because it makes me feel as secure as I felt then.
*I called her "Doey" when I was little.
* The answer to the question "Where are we going?" was "Oh, down the road a piece," and Grandpa would add, "To see a man about a dog." We never did see that dog!
* Staying in Des Moines during State Fair time because you could walk to the Fair Grounds.
* Staying with Grandma one time because I was too sick to go to the fair.
* Grandma and Grandpa staying with me while I had the mumps.
* Being rocked as Grandma crooned "Bye-oh" again and again. I believe every grandchild and great-grandchild has been rocked in the same manner. It was such a treat to watch her soothe Gabe and Amber as she rocked them.
* Wanting to go swimming while we were in Des Moines, but Grandma and Grandpa were not able to let us go because public swimming pools might harbor polio. I must have been very young then because by the time I was in kindergarten, we had all lined up for the vaccine that was administered on sugar cubes and has allowed us to live free of the fear of polio ever since.
* Grandma fixing spinach for me every time we had dinner at her house, because I loved it so. I remember the cruet with the stopper that was filled with vinegar so it could be poured on my spinach.
* Piling up the phone books on a chair so whoever was the smallest could reach the table.
* Saturday mornings, when Grandma would make "Rabbit Pancakes." I remember watching her pour on the ears so the larger circles would turn into rabbits, while another pan simmered on the stove to heat the maple syrup. I have tried to follow her pancake recipe many times, but she says you have to add the baking soda until it "sounds right" when you stir. I can come close, but I must not have the aural acuity.
* Grandma coming to our home in Vancouver in 1980, when Gabe was still very little. He had a high fever while she was here and Grandma held him as I drove to the doctor. He got sick several times during the trip and it never fazed her. After all, he was one of her babies.
* Grandma shoveling ash from our driveway during that same trip, after Mt. St. Helens erupted covering everything with an inch of ash. Even though she was 74 at the time, she did better and lasted longer than I did!
Many of my memories have affected the way I perceive things to this very day. All of them have to do with love and acceptance, patience and humor, family and togetherness, and all are a part of a happy childhood. Thanks, Doey. I'll love you forever.
Grandma J. and Me
by Sharon McKimpson
Where do I begin about my memories of Grandma J? Unlike school assignments, I have plenty to say about this one, but I'm having trouble deciding exactly where to begin.
Perhaps I should start with my childhood memories of the big family events. Of course, being a true Jones, I must focus on food first. I remember the smells and tastes from the kitchen and all the love that went into the dishes prepared by Grandma J. for the family get-togethers. The tasty fruit salad served in the hand painted, cracked bowl, the delicious noodles served with the wide, silver spoon, the orange soda pop always in the fridge, and the best of all-- the scrumptious pancakes with better and syrup! There was nothing better than pancakes on Christmas morning before we opened Christmas gifts.
Moving from a culinary focus, maybe I should focus on how Grandma and Grandpa always knew how to make me feel special on my birthday. When I was a little tyke, I always felt SO important on my special day when I was called to the phone and for several minutes would get to talk on the phone to Grandma and Grandpa-- long distance! Pretty run-of-the mill stuff today, but I almost burst back then with the importance of it all.
In college, Grandma and I became road warriors together. Since I couldn't see to drive, I needed wheels. Grandma hated to drive alone, so she needed a copilot/companion. What a pair we made on the road! I'll never forget when the patrolman stopped Grandma in Auburn for speeding. Just like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!
Grandma's always been there, too, for the not-so pleasant stuff. She was right there when I woke after heart surgery. She sympathized when I wrecked my first car. She listened and soothed after the hail storm wiped us out.
Most of all, I remember the support and love that grandma has always given me. She always has listened no matter how big the problem. She housed Raymond for those months that I was away to school. She took care of Euclid whenever we needed a sitter and now she's moved on to watching the Tornado Twins-- Zoe and Callie.
Let's face it-- she's been there for it all. Good, bad, happy, sad. And I thank God she's our grandma!
by Suzie Martz
Probably my earliest recollections of Grandma would be spending Christmases in Des Moines. I remember the bubble light on the top of the tree. Mom and Grandma would go shopping all day and then come home to hold up in Grandma's bedroom and wrap gifts. They would hand them out as they were finished and we would take turns carrying them to the tree. We would hang our stockings on the colonnade and in the morning Santa would have been there.
My most favorite memory was when Mom would play hymns on the piano and Grandpa would play the banjo. Until this day, the song "Turkey in the Straw" still makes me smile and reminisce.
Other times Grandma would take Sharon and me to work with her on Saturdays. It was always fun to help Grandma. She would introduce us to the patients and sometimes we could sneak a peek into Dr. From's office.
Sharon and I got to spend a week in Des Moines with Grandma and Grandpa by ourselves. We got treats of orange and grape Crush pop, as well as cookies from the "Bear."
But the time I need to thank Grandma for was the year after my senior year at Iowa State when I was accepted to Medical Technology School at Mercy Hospital. She let me live with her for that year. Looking back, that was definitely the hardest year of my life, so far-- being out of college but not really in the work force yet, hard classes, my dad being sick, missing my friends and just trying to adjust back to normal life. It sure was nice to come home at night to a listening and sympathetic ear. She enjoyed hearing about all the crazy things going on at the hospital. I don't think I'll ever be able to repay her for helping me out during that long year.
K. C. Jones
By Tamia Cloud Bible May 28, 1992
In Eighteen Hundred Ninety-eight,
In a town called Smokey Hollow,
Where coal lay deep beneath the state,
There was born the man we follow.
The name they gave was K. C. Jones
On that cold and wintry morning.
This name we sing in hearts and homes
Of the clan that he was forming.
So tall and thin with auburn hair
And a word and will of iron.
His back was strong. His words were spare.
In a rage, he was a lion.
In Rex No. 5, he dug the coal.
It was dark and deep and hot,
Where man must pray to keep his soul,
In a battle always fought.
One day in May, he took a wife.
Her name was Zita Helen.
Together built they up a life,
The one that I am telling.
They had three children made them glad.
They raised them strong and loving.
The first was Maynard, merry lad,
Then Shirley, finally Helen.
The coal all gone, the mine closed down,
So to Des Moines they started
To find a job and live in town
The foundry called and so he went
To sing the song of iron.
Heat intense, his back was bent
Till coals were cool and dying.
In Nineteen-Twenty-Nine, the Crash
Brought hardship, pain, and burdens.
When jobs were scarce, there was no cash
To feed the growing children.
On every day he walked downtown
To see what jobs were open.
If honest work was to be found,
He'd find it or die trying.
With iron and coal dust on his brow,
He left the foundry ovens.
He'd always worked a job till now
So found another calling.
The school was his. He shined and swept.
There was naught he did not do:
Fixed teachers' purses, girls' barrettes,
The principal's problems, too.
At sixty-five, they said It's time
To rest, relax, retire.
To him, they sang and clapped and dined.
Spoke he: I am not tired.
At last they tired of more requests
And gave him one more school.
He urged the boys to do their best,
Work hard and learn the rules.
He built a garage at sixty-years-young,
His grandsons by his side.
At sixty-three, his banjo gave tongue
To tunes that still abide.
To all the children there among,
His arms were always loving.
His cheeks had "points," suspenders sprung,
His eyes were always smiling.
In summertime, the sun on high,
Grasshoppers he would find,
To teach the tiny hands and eyes
To use their fishing line.
In white straw hat and cane he went
With children to the Fair,
To win the Kewpie Dolls that meant
He loved us more each year.
In Nineteen Hundred Seventy-Four,
He went to see his Lord,
To whom each day he'd turned for more
Of all that he had heard.
The town where he was born is gone,
The banjo strings still wait,
But he lives on in hearts and songs,
Of children, grand and great.
Like Casey Jones in songs of yore,
This man was like no other.
I am glad his blood runs through me now
And through my little daughter
by Tamia Cloud Bible
The fabric of her life began
With threads from people strong and true.
Although so many came before,
Let us sing now of a few.
First Clementine and William Shutts
Brought forth a girl-child small and fair.
The century but six years old,
September's glories fill the air.
Before them came Lieuticia young
In ox cart with Minerva who
Behind her left Virginia's mountains
For Iowa and prairie's view.
Before Minerva, father Carroll,
He dared to swim the river wide.
'Twas Major Billy whence he came,
A soldier and the Morris pride.
Before them all came William Senior
Down the Kanawha to Kelly's Creek.
First settler in an untamed land
Who came to stay and fortune seek.
It was the strength of ones like these
Was born in her that quiet evening,
To help her face the storms, and trials
That ninety years of living bring.
In the little wooden house,
They chose the name of Zita Helen,
Midst the coal and rolling hills,
In the town of Hamilton.
A horse she rode to school each day
Where the nuns would teach the rules.
The horse and wagon drove the roads
To fetch the flour and get the tools.
One day she met a man with hair
Of auburn like the leaves in fall.
He asked her to beside him stand,
Together face life's battle call.
He worked the mines as children came,
A son and then two daughters fair.
When to Des Moines they went to live,
Soon Grandma Shutts had come to share.
Depression brought no peace of mind,
Just fear and worries dark indeed.
So to the Hosiery Mill she went
To help them pay for things they'd need.
The children grew but then the world
Erupted into flames and fury.
Son Maynard went to steer the planes
While back at home was only worry.
The day was dark they heard, "He's lost."
Their sufferings cannot be described,
Until their prayers were answered well
And home he came o'er ocean wide.
A doctor then he soon became
And daughter Shirley was a nurse.
With x-rays daughter Helen worked
As in their lives they were immersed.
With numbers now she worked all day,
At Brady's first, then doctor's office.
But more important soon she found
Was whether Grandma's lap was softest!
A dozen grandkids now they came
For cookies and her rabbit pancakes,
For ears that listened to dreams and plans
And arms that soothed the worst heartaches.
We watched the fireworks in pajamas
And rode the rides at Riverview.
Brought our dates to check them out
And always came away renewed.
One day her soul-mate had to go
Into that perfect, golden Land.
Now both their blessings proud she gives
To all of us, both great and grand.
She's "Grandma J." to most of us
And "Grammy Bear" gets used some, too.
No matter what the name we call her,
The love within our hearts is true.
So now these gifts we bring to her:
Our PRIDE in everything she is,
Our THANKS for all she's done for us,
Our LOVE - No greater one than this.