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*Senior Chief Of Staff*
Posts: 748
(3/6/02 6:26:24 am)
I first met Mr. Jones in 1962. I think it was because of his age, and
because that is what we insisted on our children calling older people,
so it was always Mr. Jones for me too. Mrs. Jones, who was as
equally old and frail as her husband, called him Hank or Henry when
she addressed him, however if she directed the kids to him for
whatever reason, it was "you go see Mr. Jones." The fall of 1962, the
world was seething during the stare-down between the United States
and the Soviet Union over Cuba---the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis. I
was transferred suddenly from my duty station in Rhode Island to the
Seabee base in California, eventually winding up on the island of
Okinawa. Getting my family settled prior to deployment, we chose a
home on Cedar Street in Oxnard, California--the street where the old
Jones couple had lived for many years. It was only two houses up the
street from us, and one of the first familes we met on Cedar Street.
The old couple loved our three small children, but really took a liking
to son Johnny who was then only five. Mr. and Mrs. Jones had moved
to California from Kalispell, Montana because of the old man's
health--he had been wounded in France during World War I and the
cold of Montana winters aggravated his burned lungs caused by
poison gas from the war. Mr. Jones had an unusual history from the
war---he had gone over to France, prior to our own country entering
the war, and had fought with France against the Germans. He was a
young pilot who had flown the old bi-winged planes against the Huns
(that's what Mr. Jones called the German aviators). It was a French
Air Unit named the LAFAYETTE ESCRADILLE (sp). From what I recall
that when the United States did enter a declared war against
Germany, then Mr. Jones joined up with the Americans against the
Germans. Mr. Jones used to cough a lot because of his injured
lungs---I think it was chlorine that he was gassed with---and Mr.
Jone's eyes always looked as if he were crying---always carried a
handkerchief to wipe his tearing eyes or to cough into. The Jone's
had lived on Cedar Street long enough that they had fruit trees
growing in their back yard---one tree especially was a peach tree and
when those were in season, Johnny used to bring big paper bags full
of peaches home with him. Mrs. Jones baked a peach cobbler that
you could just die for---they were sure good people and had such a
good effect on our children. Mr. Jones gave Johnny a letter opener
that I described just a few days ago---made from wartime
ammunition with VERDUN 1917 engraved on the scimitar shaped
blade. Verdun is described as a battle that was fought where there
were more casualties than any battle in recorded history. If I knew
how, I would place a picture of the old letter opener on here for you
all to see. If you wish to look at it, let me know and I'll send it as an
attachment on e-mail. Perhaps you had a relative from the first world
war. My kids used to call it Mr. Jones War. Wilborn

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