Forget stopping, he’s not even slowing down. Just in time for what is left of Valentine’s Day, here is not one but two new historic sketches from the life of Maplewood’s premier memoirist, Bill Jones. A doubleheader! And keep in mind…they’re typed by Barb.
WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY – 4th Grade,
Lyndover Grade School – Maplewood
Our 4th grade was invited to write a tribute to George Washington for his birthday at a program on February 22nd. KFUO was our Lutheran radio station and the manager’s little daughter, my classmate. I was an avid reader and my sister loaned me a high school book, “Valley Forge”, to read. I loved reading and went through “Valley Forge” in five days. I didn’t understand all the long words but my sister helped me and was proud of me.
Our teacher proudly invited each of us to compose a tribute to George Washington, the father of our country. I worked on mine for eight days. My sister said, “Give the last page a little punch!” I was glad I didn’t let her read my finished words. She might have tossed it out!
George Washington was the father of our country. He led his armies across the Delaware River and defeated a larger British and Hessian army to save our country. America forgave him for leaving thousands of sick and wounded soldiers to die at Valley Forge.
Billy Jones, 4th Grade
Lyndover Grade School
My composition was not among the teacher’s top three she sent to KFUO but we were each allowed to read our work aloud to our class.
The KFUO manager’s daughter, Angie, my classmate, said “Billy, I would like to show your page to my Dad.” She slipped my writing into her work book and the teacher gave her the top three she had chosen.
On February 22, my sister called me out of the bathroom to listen to KFUO on our little radio. The announcer was saying MY name and the manager’s daughter read MY composition. My sister slapped my rear and it really stung! “My baby brother is a writer! Hooray!” My sister said, “You made your classmate Angie’s top three!”
“To a father there is nothing as dear as a daughter” Euripidies
Rosemary and I were married at mass at the Naval Training Base Chapel in San Diego in 1946, I was an instructor in the Navy Reserve. When the Navy sent most of the Reservists home, we headed back to St. Louis.
Rosemary was a real St. Louis Cardinal fan and never failed to listen to their games.My aunt and uncle decided to take us to the Cardinal game on July 4th (1947). Rosemary was very excited. Our aunt waited in line at Sportsman Park, north Grand and Dodier. After a couple of hours, she had excellent tickets.
July 4th, 1947, rolled around and Rosemary was up early. She hugged me and awakened me with “NO BALL GAME TODAY. BABY COMING!” I jumped out of bed and asked “Boy or girl?” She smiled and said, “They don’t tell us.” I called my aunt and uncle and they arrived in thirty minutes. We drove to Josephine Heitkemp Ladies Hospital at Grand and Lafayette and she was inside in 10 minutes. I was sitting on the curb. My aunt put a damp cloth on my forehead and told the nurse “First-time Daddy” and they both came over and blessed me. The nurse took us upstairs and my uncle took his small radio out of the car and brought it up. They were “prepping” Rosemary but she wanted to listen to the Cardinal game! The nuns settled us down in Rosemary’s room. They asked if we would like to pray in the chapel but we thanked them and stayed in her room until our doctor came in behind Rosemary smiling and said, “You and Rosemary have a lovely daughter.” Rosemary squealed “Cindy Lou” and smiled as the nurse put my daughter in her mother’s arms–six pounds, 7 ounces and definitely the most beautiful baby ever! Rosemary said, “I’ve been a bit busy but if Uncle Buddy plugs in that radio, I’m sure the nuns would like to hear about the Cardinal game!”
The head nun came into the room and I shook her hand and said “My firecracker is a baby girl.” She laughed and said “Obviously your first child.” Everyone laughed and I asked, “When can we take her home to show her off?” She laughed and said, “Soon.” The other little nun said, “That’s the first time anyone has ever shaken the hand of Mother Superior. She seemed pleased though.”
A few weeks later we were “toured” around town to show off our baby to the family. Rosemary and I did not own an auto. Our daughter was our Lord’s finest blessing. As I held Cynthia Louis Jones in my arms, I could never foresee or hardly dream that half a century later I would hold Cynthia Louise’s great-grandson and our fifth generation, Isaiah Richard Caudel, now age 3. He is truly our family’s only fifth generation in many centuries. We praise our Lord for our many blessings.