|Author: Rhynes, J.D.
|Rememberance's of November's Past, and my all time hero, Jack L. Jones
There's a lot of happy memories I can remember from my November's of yore. Also one that bring back a lot of tears and heartache. All told, mostly happy memories, and lookin' back as Lester was wont tosing, the good times outweigh the bad. Some of my mostest happy memories revolve around the Thanksgiving meals that were shared with my extended family around my folks table, on this my moistest favorite Holiday of the year.
The reason that Thanksgiving is my favoritest is this; It is a uniquely AMERICAN HOLIDAY. Seein' as to how I am half "Native Cherokee Original American", here before the Pilgrims landed, I jes natcherally love ever thang AMERICAN! One late fall Saturday in November of 1961 if I remember right, the "San Joaquin Valley Boys" band, along with our wives went to an "Opry" package show at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, Ca. .
On the show that night was Johnny Cash, along with Mother
and the Carter Family . Maybelle and her daughters June, Helen, and
Anita came on before Johnny and they were fantastic to say the
least. Unbeknown to me, I was about to witness one of the defining
moments of my musical journey through life that night. [Thats one of
the benefis of bein' 73] Maybelle and her girls sang and picked
about 6 songs, and then for their last song before Johnny came out
they did an old standard, "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight" , with
Anita singing lead on it. Now I had heard that song all of my life,
BUT, when Anita hit that first HIGH note that was as clear as a bell
ringing on a high mountain morning, why the hair on my neck stood
straight up, and tears welled up in my eyes until I couldn't see! I
had NEVER heard such a clear and beauiful voice like that in my
life! All I could do was choke back my tears, and TRY to breathe! I
glanced around to the rest of the band and tried to hide my tears,
but lo and behold, I wasn't the only one with tears in my eyes. I
dont think there was a dry eye in the house. Even my ol pard Shelby
Freeman was teary eyed that night. When they finished that song, it
brought down the house! They had to do another verse and chorus of
it, before the crowd settled down enough fer the Emcee to bring on
Johnny Cash. If I could have that moment in time back , what a
treasure to behold. I get choked up every time I remember that
magical moment of Anita's voice, and if you could see me as I write
this you would know what I mean. The monitor on my "cackalator" is
fuzzy rat now. GOD, that gal could SANG!
Jack L. Jones was one of America's "Greatest Generation" and was
my mothers youngest brother. He passed away of a massive heart
attack on Thanksgiving day in 1984. Fer years, I dreaded fer this
day to come, but TIME being the healer that it is, I have
finally come to the point in my life where it no longer makes me
withdrawn and sad. My uncle Jack was the one person in my life
that was always there when I needed a friend. We were hunting
buddy's and we rode many a mile together a'horseback in the high
Sierra's deer hunting every fall. The years we spent together in
the mountains is the bestest memories of my life.
Jack was born in the Ozark Mtn.'s of Arkansas in 1922. When WW 2
came along he was drafted into the Army. I remember the day he left
for boot camp and I cried my eyes out that day. He wrote me several
letters when he was in training and after he was shipped overseas
too. I jes wish that I had those letters now, but the ravages of
time loses a lot of things.
As traumatic as his leaving was to a 5 year old boy, his return was
jes as dramatic. I clearly rremember the hot summer night of August
1945 when a car pulled into our driveway around eleven PM.It was one of those HOT summer night's when you had a hard time goin to sleep.
I heard my mother yell out; JACK! Is that YOU? Then she dove right
through the window screen on the bedroom window, and grabbed my
uncle in a big bearhug! We were up until daylight ! What a joyous
celebration that was fer our family! I dont think mom slept fer a
My uncle Jack was like a lot of veterans of the time when it came to talking about their war time experience's. They jes didn't like to
talk about it. The one thing my uncle Jack told me was the time he
got to meet his all time hero, Four Star General George S. Patton.
Jack said they had just got into Berlin. My uncle was a Sargent in
the Military Police, M.P.'s if youwill. His platoon got orders to go
to the airfield, and when a certain plane came in, his platoon was
to secure a perimeter, and if anyone tried to enter in, they were to
shoot to kill. Jack said they secured the perimeter. The plane
landed at the specified time, and taxied up to the unloading area.
They pushed the stairs to the plane, and WHO came down those stairs but none other than General George S. Patton! MY uncle Jack L. Jones saluted him and said this; Welcome to Berlin General !
General Patton replied; Thank you Sargent. That was MY all time hero Jack L. Jones! What a thrill fer a 23 year old G.I. from the hills
of Arkansas! GOD, I miss him, even after all of this time.
I wish all of you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and may you make a LOT of happy memories today . GOD BLESS AMERICA!``
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