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Interview on experiences in World War II

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RICE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

WORLD WAR II VETERANS ORAL HISTORY PORJECT

INTERVIEWEE: JONES ELAINE INTERVIEWER: MARIAN POE DATE: NOVEMBER 28, 2006 HUTCHINSON, KS

POE: This is Marian Poe interviewer, interviewing today Elaine Jones here in her home in Hutchinson Kansas today is November 28, 2006. Elaine formally of Sterling is now living here in Hutchinson. Elaine what is your middle initial?

JONES: I am having trouble hearing you.

POE: Ok. Your middle initial?

JONES: A-Ann.

POE: And when were you born - your birthday?

JONES: 7-4-16.

POE: A fourth of July baby- 4th of July.

JONES: I just turned 90.

POE: And where were you born?

JONES: Connecticut-Winsted.

POE: Can you spell Winsted for me?

JONES: W-I-N-S-T-E-D.

POE: And you were in which branch of service?

JONES: Navy- Navy Nurse Core.

POE: What was the highest rank that you had?

JONES: Enson??.

POE: Do you remember your serial number?

JONES: No.

POE: When did you go into service?

JONES: Pardon?

POE: When did you go into service?

JONES: 1944.

POE: And you got out in?

JONES: 1945 - December 1945. I was in not quite 2 years.

POE: Where you injured at anytime while you were in service?

JONES: No.

POE: Did you receive any special medals or service awards?

JONES: No.

POE: Ok. Now just talk to me about your life- How- did you got to school in Connecticut, what did your parents do, did you have brothers and sisters? Just talk a little bit about your life.

JONES: My mother and dad met on board ship. She was a passenger coming over to visit her sister in Canada from the British Indies. My dad was a sailor on a Dutch ship. And she made a couple of trips over and they met and finally got off and got married. He didn't speak much English and she didn't speak any Dutch. I don't know how they did it, but.. .He was a tool maker in Connecticut. He went to Winsted because there was a Dutch colony there and he new some people that were there. And uh he went there and learned to speak English. He had a brother that went to school here in the states. I don't know where. And that is how he got here. She just went to visit her sister and they got married in New York and went to Winsted and that is where it started.

POE: And so you had brothers and sisters?

JONES: I had one brother 3 years younger. He is dead now.

POE: And you went to school there in Winsted all the way through high school.

JONES: Yes, well we moved to West Haven outside of New Haven Yale. That was later on but that is were I grew up mostly.

POE: Is that were you entered service from?

JONES: No my folks were living in Michigan at the time. POE: Oh, ok.

JONES: He was working for General Motors making tools in their research department. And that is were I went to school in New Haven or West Haven- were the water is. But I went to school I would say in West Haven mostly.

POE: And did you got to college at all?

JONES: I took college courses while I was in training. I didn't really go as a college student. We just took classes there.


POE: So you joined the Navy in 1944 and the war had been on for a while and -(cough) Pardon me.


JONES: Would like something to drink?

(Camera off)

POE: I think we are going to have to turn the camera off. I am going to cough.

JONES: Would you like some water or Pepsi or something? POE: Water would be fine.

(Camera on)

POE: Thank you for the water and I am sorry for the interruption. So whenever you

went into service you were out of high and you were working somewhere?

JONES: Oh yes I worked for several years. I got out of high school in 37 and I didn't go into training until 44. But I worked in several places. I worked in Ohio, and in Texas and in Michigan - moving around you know. My folks moved and I worked always somewhere. But, yeah, I have been around a lot - Ohio -1 worked in Ohio a while.

POE: What kind of work were you doing?

JONES: Nursing.

POE: Nursing, Ok. So the Navy nursing came to you -

JONES: No, no 44 is when I went into the Navy.

POE: Ok. But you were doing nursing prior -

JONES: I was doing nursing, in surgery mostly at this time when I was working.

POE: Where you married yet?

JONES:

No but I got out of the service because I wanted to get married and at that time you

couldn't be married. I got out in 45.

POE: And they didn't change that for a long time. I got married in 65 and I got out because I got married. So it took a long time to change that.

JONES: No you couldn't be married and you couldn't go with an enlisted man. And I married an enlisted man that I was taking care of for about a year. He was hurt up in service. But, yeah, I worked a lot of years - 40 years as a nurse.

POE: Tell me a little bit about your training. When you enlisted into the Navy, where did you go into?

JONES: I took my training at Hartford Connecticut at the Hartford Hospital in 37. It was a 3 year course. We took courses at the college there. And I worked there for a few years, I don't remember how many. My folks moved to Michigan from Connecticut and lived there for a while and we moved around. My dad was a - he worked always of course, but my mother was from the British West Indies and she didn't work very much but she was busy all the time. But I moved around, I don't know why, but I did. Friends went places and they liked it, but I worked as a nurse everywhere I went. I worked in Texas, well I was in the service I went to Chicago. I spent a year in Chicago and almost a year in Corpus Christi is where I retired from and where I met my husband. He was a patient there. He had been playing ball, he was off the ship and he was playing ball and somebody hit him in the tailbone with a baseball and he got an abscess and he had to go to the hospital. Of course you couldn't do anything like that and work in the service. About the time he would be ready to go back to work, the thing would pop open and drain. And he was in the hospital a whole year. So we knew each other very well. Of course you weren't supposed to date. But he had a car and I could drive, so I drove. He rode as a passenger in the car. We had a nice visit. But I had never been on a farm, never saw a farm and so I got married and his folks lived on the farm. And he wanted to farm in the worst way before he got out. And when he got out his brother was working with his dad and there wasn't enough for 3 families. He went back to school for which I was very thankful for. And eventually was school superintendent for 14 or 15 years. But I always worked wherever I was until I had kids and couldn't - well even after I had kids I worked in the hospitals where we lived. We moved around some. We started in Dodge City and uh - Oh, dear my memory stopped working again - and then we came to Sterling and we were in Sterling for 50 years.

POE: Ok. So that really was home.

JONES: Yeah, that is really were we settled down. When we moved to Sterling we had 5 kids then, my twins were the last ones and they were 5 weeks old when we moved to Sterling. They are just now turning 50. It has been a busy, but good life.

POE: How many children did you have? You had the twins - were they boys or girls? JONES: Girls -1 had 4 girls and one boy and the boy was in the middle. POE: Just one set of twins?

JONES: Yeah, that is enough. One of the twins just left here. She is going back home to Manhattan. She had a meeting to go to so she just left.

POE: So, your husband was in the Navy. Had he served over seas?

JONES: What?

POE: Your husband was also in the Navy?

JONES: Yes.

POE: -When you first met?

JONES: He was a radio technician. We weren't supposed to date enlisted men. But he could go out on leave and I drove and took him to town in my car. But yeah, we had a good life.

POE: So were was his family from? JONES: Plevna. POE: Plevna?

JONES: On a farm. Because when we got out and went to visit mom - of course she came to see us when we were in Corpus Christi. I was kind of glad when he couldn't go on the farm. I had never ever seen a farm. We lived on the ocean across from the ocean. His dad farmed of course and his brother farmed and taught school.

POE: And what was it he did? You said a while ago. What did your husband do?

JONES: He was a school superintendent when he died - about 20 years he was superintendent for various places.

POE: Various schools around -all in Kansas?

JONES: In Sterling for 14 years and in the Topeka area he had several schools in there and in Washburn.

POE: What was his first name?

JONES: Gaylon Davidson.

POE: Gaylon Davidson.

JONES: I had my second husband as Jones.

POE: Oh, ok, I was trying to think of a Jones in the school system.

JONES: He died of a heart attack in 48, my first husband. I had all my children of course by then. We had lived in Sterling for quite a while and our families were together all the time and his wife died and we finally got together. I was married about 14 years to him and died in 90.

POE: What was his first name?

JONES: Marlin Jones, my second one was Marlin Jones. He was from Sterling.

POE: You were a single mother there for a while.

JONES: I was what?

POE: You were a single mother there for a while.

JONES: Oh, Yes, about 7 years.

POE: That was probably pretty rough.

JONES: Well, yes because they were all going to college. But my oldest daughter had just graduated from college 2 weeks before he died. He had a heart attack at a ballgame one night. And she had just gotten home from school, and I had another girl that was a sophomore at K State at the time. And my son had just graduated from high school. My twins were about 6. I don't remember exactly. My memory is going.

POE: That is a long time.

JONES: I worked in Sterling from the day I got there. They found out I was a nurse and I had private duty work for a while. I ended up Director of Nurses for Sterling Hospital for about 4 years. He wanted to go back to school and get his Doctors because he needed that for his deal and he had to have a year's residency. He had everything else, but he had to have a years. So we moved to Lawrence for a year and he went back to KU and finished his doctorate, all but writing his thesis. He was writing it when he died, so he didn't get any good out of it. But that is what he wanted to do. But I worked in Sterling from the day- from the first week we got there. They found out I was a nurse and I worked there for a lot of years.

POE: There was a shortage of Nurses there for a while wasn't there. You didn't have any trouble finding work?

JONES: Oh, no, no. I didn't make the money they make now. No I never had any trouble the minute I walked in the door. I worked in Topeka at the Santa Fe Hospital. I worked at Topeka at the VA hospital for 3 years. I worked everywhere.

POE: You said that- whenever you got out of service did you - you were eligible for GI Bill benefits weren't you?

JONES: Well I was but I didn't take advantage of it. POE: You did not.

JONES: No. I worked for 3 years at the VA Hospital in Topeka. I couldn't stand it any longer.

POE: Was it bad?

JONES: The language those inaudible talked. Oh it was terrible. I couldn't stand it any longer. If I had worked 5 years I would have been eligible for pension, but I couldn't stand it any longer. So we moved. That was after he died thought, after Marl died, I moved. Because I had to make more money than I was making then to support my kids. That is when I moved back. They came and ask me if I would come back to work at Sterling and I couldn't the kids wanted to finish high school. So I stayed long enough for them to finish. And when they got done they came and ask me to come. So I went back. We lived in Lawrence for a year while he went to school. Yeah, but I had to make more money, but I just couldn't stand the - oh they had a horrible -just the language those guys used. They just talked terrible.

POE: Are you talking about the patients?

JONES: Yeah, the patients. I couldn't stand it any longer. I had a funny experience when I went on the interview. Are you on a time limit?

POE: No, I just check every -to see how you are looking here.

JONES: It is a quarter to four. Oh, you are looking at that, I thought you were looking at the clock.

POE: No, I am looking at your picture here, making sure you are still in focus and everything. Every so often, I don't why but it wiggles.

JONES: When I went to Santa Fe Hospital -1 means to the Veterans Hospital to work. They interviewed me and they said well you might have one problem with this floor that we are going to send you to. We have this one pilot up there that always propositions the

nurses when they come. And she said as long as you are aware of it, just ignore him. And I said well that won't be any problem. I think I can inaudible older than they were. So that wouldn't be any problem. So I was giving medications on the very first day that I went. Standing at the office, and they came to me to get their medicine and this good looking guy came up and he introduced himself. I can't tell you his name. I don't remember it, but anyway. The first thing he said after he introduced himself- will you come down to my room and visit with me? Yeah, I will be right down. You go down and I will come down as soon as I can. I could have kicked myself. I had been a fool about what they told me, you know. He looked so funny and he went down there and I never saw him again. He never did come up. He always sent somebody else to get his medicine.

POE: Somebody called his bluff.

JONES: I couldn't believe I did that. But he was a nice looking boy but he done that to girls. I don't know if he done anything else to them because they didn't know about it. I couldn't believe me. But that was the only trouble that I had there except that I couldn't stand - you know they used - they called you names and all sorts of things. And I just couldn't stand it.

POE: Before I forget, I will make a copy of this for you. I see you watch VHS tapes, do you have a DVD player?

JONES: Have what?

POE: A DVD player - the disk?

JONES: Well, it is not hooked up.

POE: Ok. Well I will make you a copy of this. Do you want a VHS or a DVD?

JONES: I haven't ever turned -1 don't have DVD.

POE: Ok, VHS, ok.

JONES: I just never had it hooked up because I don't like to mess with all that mechanical stuff.

POE: I understand. Let's talk about when you were in the Navy and you were in school for your training and you went to Chicago, right? You went to Chicago first?

JONES: I went to Chicago to the Great Lakes for a year. Then I was transferred to Corpus Christi and I was there about a year.

POE: While you were there did you live in barracks?

JONES: Yeah, we lived in barracks.

POE: And were they - do you want to talk about what a daily life was? Just talk about a day- you got up in the morning and you-

JONES: Well we went to classes, drilled, marched and all that stuff. But we also worked at the hospital. And then we couldn't go to town by ourselves because there was trouble with men you know. We had to go in groups we went. But it was fun; we had a lot of fun. Traveling around in groups we always went. We had roommates. Just like college sort of. It was fun, we had a lot of fun. But we worked in the hospital. We had one place at Corpus Christi, I think; we had a choo choo train come through one day with about 30 soldiers. They had fed them chicken salad or tuna salad out of the train and all of them were sick- 30 of them. They had to drive them into the hospital and put one bunk on top of another bunk and they had 30 of them. We had to take care of them and dodge their erping. But that was the only thing exciting that happened or different. I could have gone over seas just before I got ready to leave, but I thought I had to get married. So I just didn't go, but I never did get over seas. But it was fun at the time.

POE: While you were in the barracks, did you - did they have like a mess hall there or did you go - how did you have your meals?

JONES: Well we, oh, regular, inaudible POE: You had a dining hall of some sort? JONES: Officer quarters.

POE: That is right. All the Navy nurses were officers. That is why you couldn't date enlisted men.

JONES: We were always glad when we had a chief on duty though because he had to make - the patients had to get up and clean if they were able to, even if they weren't able to they sometimes were. To clean their bunks and their area and they got out on leave occasionally and stuff. It was kind of hard to see some of them, they were pretty badly hurt. But they were good guys.

POE: So the people you were taking care were the guys coming back from Germany and Japan?

JONES: Yeah.

POE: Yeah, some of them were.

JONES: They had to work if they could, you know. I didn't like that part of it because -if we had the chiefs on duty you know, they ordered them around, we didn't have to do that. We were responsible for them and had to take care of whatever they had- wounds

you know. And some couldn't do anything. It was kind of sad, but it was nice too because they were all nice kids.

POE: While you were in the service did you make any friends you know, your girls, roommates whatever that you kept in touch with?

JONES: Yes, I did at the time, but I have lost them since. Because I moved away and they all got married and moved away too. But I retired from Corpus Christi. But I had a roommate that -1 lived with her folks for a while afterwards and worked in a hospital there. But when I moved to Ohio, I applied for work at the hospital there and we were close to the college. And they wouldn't let me work because I didn't have any American History they said in high school. I was floored because I had been working all those years and nobody had ever said anything like that. But I had American History in high school but I didn't remember how much or where or what. So I just called the college and ask to speak to the history teacher and told him the problem. And he said Oh, for crying out loud. What is your name and your address and he sent me a slip that said I passed the course. So I never saw him and I don't even remember his name. So I just sent it to them and that is all it took. I couldn't believe it when I first started because I had worked several places and nobody ever said anything about it. But they didn't think I had enough American History. It didn't slow me down so I didn't argue. But that is the only problem I had moving around. And we got married when he got ready to ship out. He was on one of the ships that went out to sign the peace treaty. He had moved to Las Angeles or we had moved to Las Angeles after we got married. I was married in Corpus Christi. I had to come home and he went out on the ship and they- he got out shortly after they signed the peace treaty. And I had to go home to Michigan to live with my folks for several months until he could get out. It was kind of trying, but it worked. But I never did see- we never could afford to take a trip back to Connecticut. They had reunions there, you know, my graduating class. Raising 5 kids I just couldn't leave them and go back. So I never did get back to see any of the people that I new there to keep in touch with. My roommate from back there died so I just didn't have anybody that I wanted to go back and stay with. But I couldn't leave my kids. But I never got back. My folks lived there for quite a few years later. They finally moved to Michigan again and that is were they died. My brother was in the service and he flew as a pilot. He just died about 10 years ago. He lived in Michigan - Ann Harbor. I haven't seen any of the people I went to service since.

POE: Before you moved here were you living at Sterling at the time?

JONES: What?

POE: Before you moved here to Wesley Towers -

POE: Sterling.

JONES: We were living in Sterling. We lived there for 50 years.

POE: Yeah, I should have known you.

JONES: I was superintendent of nurses in Sterling Hospital until they closed in 76.

POE: Yeah they closed that.

JONES: Where you there then?

POE: No.

JONES: Oh. We closed the hospital because Dr. Dysert didn't think we were getting enough patients to afford it. So I didn't work after that in Sterling. I worked in Emporia -1 mean in uh -1 was there I really was.

POE: In Lyons?

JONES: No this was in Sterling. I went back to Sterling from there.

POE: After the hospital closed did you work for one of the Doctors?

JONES: -No not there. I worked in Topeka.

POE: Oh, ok.

JONES: Yeah that is where I worked was in the VA Hospital in Topeka.

POE: Were women allowed to join the American Legion after you got out?

JONES: Oh, I think so. I didn't but I guess I could have there in Sterling. I was to busy taking care of kids. And trying to get some sleep while they were sleeping so I could work.

POE: Yeah. You said your father or your mother was from the British West Indies and one from Holland? Your, dad where was he from?

JONES: He was from inaudible.

POE: Ok, right. So what language did you guys speak at home?

JONES: What?

POE: Did you speak Dutch at home?


JONES: No. I didn't speak it. My mother never did. They went over in 75 I think to Holland and I don't know why because they didn't speak very much English. But my mother went with him. They had a good visit but my mother wasn't very happy about the


whole thing. But she had 2 brothers. One had gone to college in the United States and was engineering. My dad used to help him. He invented some things for buying people-how to add and subtract. He had a little machine. My dad built it for him. And they lived there and they spoke English fluently. The rest of the family I never did never meet except for her two brothers. They spoke English. They were from the British West Indies. Banana Plantation she lived on. But my dad would not ride in a car unless you were going fishing. He would go with you if you were going fishing but if it was a drive he wouldn't do it. And I never found out from them, when we lived in Michigan we lived with my mother's brothers, 2 of them, for a short time. I was just 6 I think when my dad decided to go back to Winsted to work and he bought a car. And old Ford with the flapping curtains and stuff. I don't know how we got to Winsted because he didn't drive a car. And they would never discuss it. I don't know what we did. I don't remember of course. My brother was 3 but we drove back and he sold the car the minute we got back to Winsted after we got a house. And he never would ride in a car after that unless he was going fishing- Never. In fact we never had a car during the depression-while I was in school we had trolley cars that were about a block away. We always rode the trolley car to New Haven or wherever we wanted to go. But we never had a car until my brother got to high school. Then of course he had a car. I had wait until I worked and got my own. But it was interesting. He never - he could speak English plainly. He had an accent of course. But when- he was 96 when he died and he had a real good inaudible towards the end. You could understand him or at least I could. He lived with us for about 10 years before he died. And my oldest daughter went with us; all of our kids went with us when we went to see my daughter that lived in Michigan - no in Illinois. Her - somebody in her family was getting married and we went out there. But he just wouldn't go anywhere in a car unless he was going fishing. But he lived with us for about 10 years before he died in Sterling. Before the end he got back to the inaudible.. He was blind. He fell and hit his head on a coffee table and it got his eye. It put his eye out- one eye. And he couldn't see very well out of the other one. He could stay there during the day time. I would fix breakfast for him and the kids and he managed to turn the stove and heat it in a double boiler. But we were out there at a wedding at my daughter's house in Illinois when he fell and my step daughter was taking care of him. She took him to one of the Doctors in Sterling and he snowed him out. And he shouldn't have done it. And that is all it took. He just never recovered from it. Otherwise I would have just made him tough it out and he would get along fine. She let the Doctor just snow him out and he died before I got back -about a half hour before I got there. But he wanted to make 100. I am 90 but I don't want to make 100. But he sure did.

POE: Are you probably a member of some other organizations - where there some nursing organizations that you were -

JONES: What?

POE: What organizations have you been members of over the years?

JONES: Oh, I belong to the Presbyterian Church and we have been in the organization, all of them. We did everything- we took manor people for rides. People over at the compound that you live in. That is were I wanted to go when I had to move if I had to move. But my kids didn't want me to go there for some reason or other, I don't know why. They had seen this advertised on TV and they really - Oh, I am not saying this is not a good place to be. It is really great. They take good care of us. I don't see anybody from Sterling very often. The secretary the Presbyterian Church had, she came by once a month or sometimes twice a month and brought 4 people with her that I knew. Most of them didn't have cars and they couldn't come with someone brought them. I gave my daughter-1 was seeing double there for a while and I was afraid to drive my car, so I gave it to my granddaughter. It was the biggest mistake I ever made. She is complaining she wants a new car. It is about to fall apart after 6 years. But I wanted to go to the Manor, but my son didn't for some reason or other, he wouldn't tell me why, he didn't want me to go there. I used to work there part of the time you know. We used to take to the Manor and the Plaza people for drives and stuff but. We were all one thing, the church and the manor and the compound that you live in.

POE: I think these apartments are probably bigger than the ones at the Manor.

JONES: What?

POE: They are larger-

JONES: Would you like to see it?

POE: Oh, that is ok.

JONES: It is just 2 rooms.

POE: Yeah, but I think they are a little larger than the apartment -

JONES: Well they have single rooms and they have double rooms and look out this window. All of this is compound. Somebody gave them 30 acres 35 years ago. This is Wesley Towers.

POE: You have nice view out your window here.

JONES: The one with the white is the chapel. It is about a mile. And they have tunnels everywhere from every building. You don't have to go outdoors, you can go over to it. But this building right here if you to go to the hospital and need to have maybe a short spell where you need some help or a dressing change. Why that is where you go. The next building over is kind of a hospital unit, you know. The rest of it is duplexes and uh-housing all around it outside. And they feed from this kitchen here they feed the whole compound.

POE: I see you have your tree up.

JONES: Well, my daughter put that up today before she left. POE: Getting all ready for Christmas.

JONES: But we don't ever have to go out doors. You can go anywhere you want on the compound without going outdoors.

POE: While we tour I am going to turn this off.

(Out of room)

POE: I need a picture of you on my still camera.

JONES: Oh, you don't want a picture of me. What is this for?

POE: I need to get you to sign some things for? I need your permission to do this now we are almost finished.

JONES: What are you doing this for?

POE: I am doing this for - it is a long story. Some World War II Veterans went to the Kansas Legislature and said Our World War II Veterans, we are losing them. We need to get there oral history taken now. That was about 3 years ago. And the Kansas Legislature said yes and they have the Kansas State Historical Society $300,000 to get it done. And then the Kansas State Historical Society gave grants out to whoever would apply. Well, I mean not everybody. It was competitive. They couldn't give money to everybody. But they were trying to get as much coverage as possible throughout the state. And Rice County Historical Society applied for a grant and received one. And I am working for the Historical-1 am doing this for the Rice County Historical Society.

JONES: Yeah I used to go over and meet at the Plaza occasionally. POE: Oh, our friendship meals, yeah. JONES: Do you eat over there?

POE: I don't eat over there very often. I was the Silver Threads director for a while -the Senior Center, it is right there at the same location there. My neighbor- did you know the Kilgore's?

JONES: Who?

POE: -Clinton and Irene Kilgore?

JONES: Yeah, Irene?

POE: Yeah, anyway, Clinton was on the Silver Thread's board and he said would you like a job and I said no I am retired. And he said well would you mind and he told me his sad story. And I said I will be the director but only till you find somebody. It took them a year to find somebody.

JONES: Well that is kind of a short drive.

POE: Anyway, well I was there everyday.

JONES: Yeah, Irene and I were good friends.

POE: Well I will tell her hello. I am in a Bible study group with her.

JONES: Oh, I used to have a Bible - well she didn't belong to my Bible study I don't think. I lived in 3 different houses. I lived in Kilgore- in the yellow house right across from the manor there right on the corner. When my first husband was alive we bought that house and lived there a while. I worked at the hospital of course. We lived down by the school. We had to live there because we didn't have any other place to live for a while when we moved there. Someone from the board of education came by and ask how in the heck have you wound up in a hole like this. I said it was the only place there was to live. When they came out to Topeka and ask me to come back and be the director, I said only if you could find me a decent house so that I don't have to spend $10,000 to fix up. Which I knew a lot of houses did. And they got me a place to look at and I bought it sight unseen. But I had been in the house several times. It was on Main Street, the second - that big green house that used to be across from the church there that burned down. ???? it was around the corner there- On Monroe Street.

POE: Oh, on Monroe Street.

JONES: I bought that while I was living in Topeka and sold my house there. And came down and I loved that house but I lived there for about thirteen years and I decided that I would move back to - or I didn't decide my kids decided I would go back to Sterling. I went back to Sterling. I don't know I just-1 loved that house. That was the only house I ever lived in that had more closets than I had stuff to put in. The big green one with a big porch around it.

POE: I don't think I have heard anybody complain about having too many closets.

JONES: Oh, I never have either, but I just loved that house. But after my husband died, I owned the trailer too down by the tracks and Millers - do you know Millers? Well, I owned that and I had rented it for years and I decided I would move out of my big one and move over there. And I lived over there for a couple years in that house. But I sold that big one but I sure loved that house. But I was by myself then so sold it.

POE: Well your children certainly done well.

JONES: What?

POE: Your children have done well.

JONES: Yes, I have been real fortunate. The only trouble we ever had was my son got out of school- graduated- and wanted to go to law school. We went down and applied and the guy said fine we got you all enrolled, now all you have to do is go across the street and take out a $13,000 loan to start. I about died. I was working at Santa Fe then.. ...but it all worked out.

POE: It must have because he is an attorney now.

JONES: What?

POE: You said he is a lawyer now so it must have worked out.

JONES: It was interesting. Kind of hairy thing, but we made it. But all my kids went to K State except one and she didn't want to go to K State, She wanted to go to Business School and she makes more money than the rest of them do, which kind of irritates some of them. But they are all getting old.

POE: How many grandchildren do you have?

JONES: I have 6 grandchildren and about 4 grandchildren and about 4 great grandchildren.

POE: Wow.

JONES: I had one grandchild that my music's teachers, one of her children had been married about 7 years and she - they tried for 7 years to get pregnant and couldn't and then she finally did. And her- they got there and what did she do- she got pregnant and they said to her on the first sonogram that she had - you have a deformed child and you are going to have to abort it. She said I am not going to abort it. I have tried to many times. Anyway she went in — and each time they said it was worse. He is born and was alive, which they said he would be but it wouldn't be but just a few hours. He is four now. He is a dwarf. They both had some kind of a gene. But his hands are here and his feet are here. I have never seen him because he couldn't travel but he was in the children's hospital for a year before he could go home. He had to have 3 nurses around the clock all that time in that hospital. At home, when they let him go home they had to go with him or he could not go home. The insurance, she had children's insurance, they were both engineers and her husband had hospital insurance. And they called when the kid was about 3 years old said I am sorry but you are going to have to go back to work because we have spent over one million dollars on you already and we can't afford to do this any longer. So she had to go back to work part time. She had to quit finally because she had to let the nurses go and they paid for that all that time. 3 nurses around the clock

was pretty expensive. I don't know what they get now but they didn't pay that way when I was working I know. Anyway she worked for a while and he met her at college. She had never ever gone to church and he did. He made her go to church with him. And now they are just singing in the choir and they go to church every Sunday. She stays in the nursery with the baby, I mean with -1 have never seen him because I can't travel out there you know. But the airlines wouldn't let them travel for a while because he has a treak?? in his throat. And he has an oxygen tank hooked up to it and they wouldn't let them go unless they could use theirs and it wouldn't work with the treak, so. He just been about a year now that he has been able to travel by air and he is cute as a bug. I think they are going to own a photography place by the time they get done. They started him in a little disable school. She had to quit work and stay with him once she let the nurses go. Because every once in a while he has some kind of trouble with his treak??. But he goes to this disabled pre-school and he has learned to visit with other kids and stuff and he has learned to talk to him. Last summer they operated on his treak?? and it keeps collapsing on him. They thought they were going to have to take a rib and re-enforce the tube, you know. They did something, but I don't know what they did. He is able now to talk. He puts his finger over the hole in his throat there and he talks and he can read. Nancy calls me and says Mom I think I got a genius. He is cute as can be, but I have never seen him. Here is what the church put out on them. They go to the Presbyterian Church. She had never gone to any church. One of her parents is Jewish and one is Catholic and I don't know what all. But she had never been to church. But he made her go with him and she is more religious than anybody. But they take him to church every Sunday and they have 80 in their choir and 9 pastors in the church. It is a big one and I don't know, but that is him. But they have got religion. She has got more religion- she got the name Jaden out of the Bible. I don't know where she found it. They both sing in the choir and the choir baby sits some of them. But she doesn't go to church anymore but she stays with the baby in the room. But she has to go to school with him too. My daughter was here and she stopped. She was out there at Thanksgiving and they were there and she said he gets that book and he can read it. Not my books - Magazines. But the day he came home and my daughter saw him for the first time after surgery, he picked up a book and said God said this. He is 3 years old. I can't believe it. Marilyn said she heard him read and he is kind of inaudible sort of but she can understand him she says. I can't believe it. But she is with him all the time and she works at it all the time too. She is not working herself. It is really something. They want to take that tube out but they are afraid it will collapse and he might get in trouble so they are kind of doing that gradually. I don't know what they did this summer but they did something and so he can put his finger on the hole now and talk.

POE: That is amazing. I can't help but notice over here that you have a few elephants.

JONES: What?

POE: You have a few elephants. Do you collect elephants?

JONES: I have about 200 of them I think. Somebody gave me one, one day and now everybody that goes anywhere they look for elephants.

POE: Yeah, you have a whole case of elephants.

JONES: The solved the problem.

POE: Yeah, you have more elephants than you know what to do with.

JONES: Yeah, I have a lot of them. My son once said that anybody that goes anywhere, I think I have about got about all there are that are different. But they come from all over.

POE: You don't have all of them because I have a couple that you don't have. But I don't have this many.

JONES: There are some real interesting ones - playing pianos and things. Everybody buys elephants if they see one.

POE: Well it is nice someone always knows what to get for you for your birthday or Christmas.

JONES: What?

POE: Someone always knows what to get you for your birthday.

JONES: Well, I don't think there are very many that are different any more that I don't have. I have got them all over. I took care of some patients and one of those if from - Oh dear- over seas and I can't think of the town were they air. They are missionaries. I took care of a gal that lived right across from the light plant. I used to go by and start an IV on her every so many days. Her husband and son went over and they brought back that big one. But I got a lot of them.

POE: Well, I think we are going to be drawing this interview to a close. Is there anything else you would like to say for the interview - any parting remarks?

JONES: I can't think of anything.

POE: I certainly appreciate you allowing me to come over here in such short notice.

JONES: What are you going to do with this?

POE: I will tell you in just a moment when we go over the release form. It will go to the Kansas State Historical Society for one place and you will get a copy, I will make you a VHS copy. This will conclude the interview today, November 28, here in the home of Elaine Jones in Hutchinson, a former Sterling resident.

TRANSCRIBER: MITZISUHLER



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