Von Jones has gotten so feeble in his old age, that his daughter finally took him off somewhere; I’m not sure if it’s to a nursing home or if he’s moved in with her. But before he moved, he lived by himself.
My uncle was his closest friend (that I know of); a Baptist pastor at a small church out in the country, I suppose he felt obligated to look after Mr. Jones. He’d go out of his way to help him when he could.
I met Von Jones when I went to the local community college to talk to my uncle about joining the machining program. In addition to being a small-town pastor, my uncle is also the master-machinist at the college and was more than happy to welcome me into a blue-collar trade he’s been passionate about for years.
Von Jones was sitting in the office, half-asleep. We had lunch, the three of us, and I got to know him a little better. He was a fiercely independent old man. He insisted on taking care of himself. My uncle told me that Von kept a house full of guns and ammo, even though I doubt he’d have the strength to chamber a round. A defiant southerner to the end.
I’ve thought about Mr. Jones a lot over the past few months, especially when I get depressed about the state of Dixie and her morally-depraved institutions. With so much depressing content in the news, it’s easy to despair. “What has happened to the South” I’m tempted to ask? “Where is the honorable society I romanticize?”
I think about Mr. Jones in times like this because of something that happened to him a few months ago.
I was at my uncle’s house, helping tear down his barn. We had demolished the sub-structure but the rafters were still in tact, so we had to crawl around in the rubble with our hammers and crow-bars, dismantling them piece by piece.
During mid-hammer blow, my uncle stopped. I glanced over in time to see him jump off the wood-pile and disappear. “A wreck” he shouted! I was on the inside of the rubble so I hadn’t heard anything, but I could tell by his tone of voice something major had happened.
I climbed out and took off running. I could hear a car-horn. One continuous beep — it didn’t bode well. I didn’t know what I’d see when I ran around the corner of the house.
At this point in the story, everything seemed to happen in slow motion. At least, that’s the way I remember it. I hold this memory up in defiance to all those who gloat over the death of old Dixie:
Von Jones had come for a visit but fell asleep during the drive. Instead of taking the sharp turn in front of my uncle’s house, he went full speed off the road and into a tree. His car was totaled and I saw him there, hunched over the steering wheel. His horn was blaring, his airbags were out, and there was smoke coming from under the hood.
I ran to the car. My uncle and cousin were ahead of me, but I quickly caught them up. We hit the car and frantically pried at the door. It didn’t help that the car was buried in a thicket of briars. We struggled. Immediately, another pair of hands were on the door. Then another; and another!
Hunters were materializing out of the woods. Camouflaged men and women crawled out of the thicket and lent their strength to the rescue effort. We got Mr. Jones out. He was ok, but shaken. Once he was safe, we focused our attention on the smoke and car-horn.
My cousin is an EMT and volunteer fire-fighter. Within minutes he had a rescue and fire-truck on scene. One of the hunters was a deputy. He called his partner, who arrived just after the ambulance. The peaceful country-side erupted into a frenzy of dedicated service.
Now you — you Satanists who despise old Dixie — you tell me there isn’t a blue-collar heroism here, just waiting for evil to challenge it.
I thank God for Von Jones and I’ll always remember the day white heroes literally popped from the wood-work to save one of their own.