By LARRY M. JONES
I would suggest that family, faith and fortune may be three of the most defining facets of our existence. They may provide the greatest influence on determining who we are and what we are to become.
Of these key elements, we have at least some control over our faith and our fortune, but with regard to family, Popeye’s famous saying, “I yam what I yam,” might say it best. Or more correctly, you are what you are.
As a member of an early pioneering family of Parker County, I have always had a keen interest in my ancestors, and how they helped shape our nation. With my Grandpa Jones living just across our pasture, I spent considerable time listening to stories about early frontier times and my earliest ancestors. He was extremely proud of his Jones heritage, and through our association, he passed along this pride in family heritage to me. I was very fortunate to have shared this time with him learning of our family during his waning years.
Another important way I leaned of my Jones heritage was through our annual Jones Cemetery workings. Each year during the summer months, large numbers of the family would gather at “the graveyard,” as we called it, and do requisite maintenance and cleaning of the cemetery. With power lawn mowers still well into the future, we hoed the grass and weeds around each gravesite instead of mowing. In addition, we repaired the fence, trimmed trees, and cleared any debris that had collected.
Most important of our activities, we visited with our family members, many who lived far away and saw only on rare occasions. One of my most vivid memories of these relatives was that of seeing my great uncle Charley Jones who lived directly across the Brazos River south of the cemetery. However, with the river serving as a barrier, we saw his family infrequently. I will never forget his trademark black Stetson hat. There was none in the community that could rival it.