Monday, December 12, 2016

Dog Bites

Family stories were always part of our annual "get together".  Each holiday season our JONES group of folks would gather to exchange some of the last years special events.  When uncle Malcolm, uncle Gayle, and my Dad got to talking, dog stories always seem to enter the equation. This was expected of course since all three worked at our Winchester post office.  In these stories "dogs" were the ones who seized with the teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound any of these three gentlemen listed above.  Each would have their own dog stories to keep the family up to date on their appointed rounds.  Dad carried just about every postal route in the town, and completed his days as a "Rural  Letter Carrier".  [Some forty years to be exact.]  At any rate, the following picture was taken on one of those rural letter days:

A bird in the box instead of a dog bite on the legs.  Don't remember any stories being told about this mail box delivery.  You've heard the motto : "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds".  Well this was mostly true for my Dad expect for dog bites, and this bird in the mail box.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WWII U.S. Campaign Medals (3)

This post gives the third "Campaign Medal" which recognized the global nature of WWII involving hundreds of engagements and campaigns fought by American service personnel.  The following medal called "American Campaign Medal" was awarded for service within the American Theater between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946.

The obverse [front] depicts a Navy cruiser under full steam with a B-24 bomber flying overhead.  A sinking enemy submarine above three waves is shown under these symbols of America's coastal defenses.  In the background are some buildings representing "the arsenal of democracy". 

The reverse [back] shows an American bald eagle facing left, standing "defiantly" on a rock symbolizing democracy.  The dates 1941 - 1945 are shown along with the words "United States of America".  [This is the same for all of the campaign medals shown before.]

The colors shown on the ribbon have four wide azure blue strips.  The center stripe of dark blue, white, and red represent the United States.  Near each side are narrow stripes of white, red, black.  The red and white represent Japan, and the black and white represent Germany.

American War Medals and Decorations, by Evans E. Kerrigan, p. 97
Guidebook of U.S. Medals, by Evans E. Kerrigan, p. 191.
United States Air force Combat Medals, Steamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, p.50-55.
The Call of Duty : Military Awards and Decorations of The United States of America, by John E. Strandberg and Roger James Bender, p.205.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

South Elkhorn Creek

Elkhorn Creek was a landmark for the earliest settlement of Kentucky.  Even when known as "Fincastle County" one of the first "watercourse" to be used in a survey dated July 9, 1774 was "Elkhorn Cr.". [ Original Survey Book 1, page 79-80 for John Ware. ] 

Its mouth begins just north of present day Frankfort (KY) near Bates road.  It snakes it way southward through present day Franklin County to a branch point called "Forks of Elkhorn" where a "north" branch and "south" branch divides it course. The one winding north finds its way into Scott County (Georgetown), and the south branch winds its way to Woodford County (Versailles) forming its eastern border.  The south branch then arrives some 8 miles north of Lexington (KY) [Fayette County] ending its winding ways just southwest of Lexington.  Just as it branches cross present day Harrodsburg road, the "South Elkhorn Church" was formed July 31, 1784.  It was here that my own Jones family arrived, and were listed as members until "the Twentithird day of June 1817".

Some 240 years later the following picture was taken of some family members still wading in this South Elkhorn Creek. [Two grandsons included!]

These waters still flow in my family.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WWII U.S. Campaign Medals (2)

This post continues the description of the campaign medals awarded during WWII.  Known as "Theaters of War" the medal shown below represents the largest geographic area during the War, which included Asia, Australia, Alaska, the Pacific Islands, most of the Pacific Ocean, and the eastern half of the Indian Ocean.  It was know as "Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal".

It was awarded for service between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946.  On the front side (obverse) the medal is designed to show an amphibious landing in the tropics, showing two helmeted soldiers holding rifles.  A leafed palm tree overshadowing a landing craft with disembarking troops is immediately in their background.  Three palm trees are shown without their palm leaves.   Further in the distance is depicted a battleship, an aircraft carrier, and a submarine with two aircraft flying overhead.  In a semicircle struck across the top are  the words  ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN.

The back side is shown below which is identical to the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign shown last post [a bald eagle perched on a rock with the dates 1941 - 1945, and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.]

The colors of the ribbon are centrally, three vertical stripes of  red, white, and blue representing the United States.  In parallel are two vertical stripes of white, red, and white representing the colors of Japan.  The bright orange-yellow color is representing the tropical Pacific. 


American War Medals and Decorations, Evans E. Kerrigan, p. 98.

United States Air Force Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, pp. 58 - 127.

The Call of Duty : Military Awards And Decorations Of The United States of America, by John E. Strandberg and Rober James Bender, p.207.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Splish Splash

Summer's ended, school begins, and a lot of folks spend their time attending this adventure.  Writing this post brought all kinds memories of my own attendance to this endeavor.  Let's see...starting at age 6, one begins this trail along life's pathway.  Starting mighty young it is.  Anyway, you become locked into a pathway that seems to go on, and on, and on.  Counting for me, it would be 7 years elementary, 1 year junior high, 4 years high school,  3 years college, 4 years medical school, 3 years residency, and another 2 years in fellowship.  Hum... that is almost quarter of a century, and more than 1/3 of my present years.  No wonder that seeing the following picture of a grandson spending some of his summer days prior to his own adventures along this pathway.

...only two words come to mind...splish splash.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WW II U.S. Campaign Medals

Looking back, the enormous scope of WWII is seen in the forty million lives taken all over the world.  The United States became part of this conflict on December 7, 1941.  The military organized their forces by land, air, and sea.  The operations they preformed were divided into "Theaters of War", and individual service [campaign medals] were awarded.  These service medals were: 1) American Defense Service Medal, 2) American Campaign Medal, 3) European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, 4) Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and 5) Women's Army Corps Service Medal.  The following begins a series of post to show these service decorations of WWII.

The "European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal" is shown below.  It was awarded to all members of the U.S. armed forces who served in the prescribed area or aboard certain ships of the Navy between December 7, 1941, and November 8, 1945.

The design is by the Heraldic Section of the Army.  The front of the medal [called obverse] shows a LST (landing vessel), with an antiaircraft gun firing from its forward deck.  The words EUROPEAN AFRICAN MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN are impressed above.  To the left of the LST, another ship is barely seen beneath a plume of smoke.   A fighter aircraft dives from above the smoke.  Shown in the foreground is a landing craft filled with troops.  Three helmeted soldiers with backpacks and rifles are shown in the lower foreground.

The back of the medal [called the reverse] shows the left profile of a bald eagle perched on a rock.  The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are placed at the upper right.  The dates 1941 - 1945 show on the lower left.

The colors of the ribbon have their own meaning.  Down the middle, a narrow strip of  red, white, and blue representing the United States.  [Description looking down from the front of the medal.]  On the left side is a brown band and inside are three stripes of green, white, and red, to represent the colors of Italy.  Two broad bands of green are to represent the fields of Europe.  Between the green and brown bands of the right side appear three stripes of white, black, and white, to represent the colors of Germany.  The wider brown stripes on each edge are for the soil of Africa and Europe.

A service member received a Bronze Service Star for each campaign credit.  Four of these stars on shown on the medal above.

What a deal this European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and what a service it represents to our life, and liberty in these United States.

References: American War Medals and Decorations, by Evans E. Kerrigan, The Viking Press, N.Y., 1964, pp. 97-98.

United States Air Force Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1990, pp.128 - 133.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Morgue

Considering all things, it was relatively a brief corridor in time that Uncle Gene and I shared together.  During most of this time he talked and I listened while he painted his stories into my memory.  One such account was his time in the morgue.  Certainly, not something most nine year old have given much thought.  At any rate it was one of those stories Uncle Gene told of his time in the army posted on an island called Okinawa.  Now I had never heard of  Okinawa, but I figured it really existed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean never to be the same after Uncle Gene had been there.

Now I knew that a morgue had to do with dead people, but Uncle Gene gave me to understand that his place had to do with those who had been killed in Korea, and whose bodies needed to be identified before burial.   From "driving tanks" to a "morgue in Okinawa" seemed a little unbelievable, but hey... Uncle Gene could convince you of his facts.

It again was not until years later that the following patch in Uncle Gene's collection was understood.

It was worn by those of the U.S. Army garrison on Okinawa which is the largest Island of the Ryukyus chain.  The figure on the insignia is a torii which is the gate to a Shinto Temple.  The patch was adopted after WWII, certainly in time for the Koren War.  It must have been one of the least favorite of Uncle Gene's memories.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Driving Tanks

Telling stories was part of our families' activities.   Uncle Gene had more than his share.  One of his favorite was driving tanks.  He explained a number of techniques, with his hands doing most of the talking.  Fort Knox was the location, and hitting bumps with your teeth grinding about was often the focus.  Now I knew that Fort Knox was the place that all that gold was supposed to be held...but tanks...well not real sure about this.  At any rate, one of the patches I came to own, past down to me from Uncle Gene, was the following.

The 6th Armored Division it is.  Some years later, my study revealed that this division was deactivated after WWII.  However, it was reactivated during the Korean War and was used primarily as a training organization.  In 1957 it was again deactivated.  Hum...driving tanks it must have been.  Fort Knox...well I guess George Patton might have something to say about that!

Thursday, July 7, 2016


This day, July 7, 2010, began my blogging adventures.  Six years it is!  As of today, there has been 316 posts, with 157,931 post visits.  There has been a total of 222 comments.  There has been folks from around the world [ 141 different countries from Albania to Zimbabwe ]  What a deal!  Can you believe it?  Happy  "BLOG - A - VERSARY"... now begins year 7.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Eagle Has Landed

Happy 4th of July to all those who celebrate this day.  When those folks got together in Congress that day in 1776,  life... liberty... and the pursuit of happiness were self-evident truths.  

I can remember that each day in grade school, we began our class with a Bible reading, a prayer, and we would stand facing the Stars and Stripes with our right hand over our hearts saying:  " I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  What a way to start the day.

Seems like I remember a story that when all those folks in Congress wanted to select a symbol for this new nations, old Ben Franklin suggested a turkey.  Good thing we chose to eat this bird on another celebrated day of the year.  At any rate, set off some fireworks, and remember these truths, and instead of the turkey...the Eagle has landed.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Childhood Collections

Uncle Gene had a great way of telling stories.  He often provided first hand illustrations to help communicate the often broad scope of his adventures.  Serving during the Koren War, he told many of his "army stories" giving first hand accounts of driving tanks and the like, which of course filled my attention span.  He had a collection of patches which he would present with a story, describing its origin and activity, often leaving my questions yet to be answered.  His military patch collection become one of my childhood favorites.  The following patch [shoulder sleeve insignia] caught my attention having recently rediscovered this childhood collection :

No stories arose from the many memories pertaining to this collection, so I had to check a few of my "adult" references.

The 3rd Armored Cavalry it turned out to be.  A regular Army unit on active duty with Headquarters at Fort Bliss, Texas.  My reference read "The green color and trumpet commemorate the original green facing of the uniform and its gold trumpet insignia (1846)".   The motto is recorded as coming from General Winfield Scott after seeing the Regimental colors raised over a captured stronghold... "Brave Rifles! Veterans! You have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel."

I can't imagine how Uncle Gene could have missed such a story, but this childhood collection is still telling them.

My reference : Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of The U.S. Army 1946 - 1989, by Richard W. Smith, first published 1978. (p. 12)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

By Any Other Name

The first day of May and all those "May Flowers" can officially arrive.  Here's some...

"May" by any other name would still be "May"...or was it the flowers shown above. [Old Wil sure had a way with words some 400 years ago.]  At any rate, the rose family (Rosaceae) consist of about 3000 species.  This species of flowers ranks high among those whose members contribute to the welfare and pleasure of mankind.  Various size, shapes, and colors all thrown about to stimulate our senses of sight, smell, and touch. 

Now my college Botany text states:

"The flower is a part of a method of sexual reproduction that give rise to seeds, from which new plants eventually arise."

"Seed formation is essential to the survival of most kinds of plants, and also for many species of animals that depend upon seeds for food."

Hum...not the usual way to think about May flowers.  But hey, it is the first day of May and seed production begins.  Our survival continues.

From: Botany, Fourth Edition, by Wilson and Loomis.  Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, NY,  1967. (p. 259)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Last Drop

April showers bring May flowers...or at least the saying goes.  This being the last day of April, 2016, I thought it might be of interest to show a last drop.

This poor fellow is about to reach the end of his blade of grass.  Enough gravity, enough weight...just the right angle...and there you other places.  Just think of all the drops of rain that fell this month.  From high places to earth...then to trees or plants...then to ground...then to other places.  Getting all those flowers ready for May I guess.  Ah...the last of April...a last drop of rain...and on to other places.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Headstone

A memorial stone placed at the head of a grave is a headstone.  To remember those who had come before; name, date of birth, and date of death...a life span in between.  Such is shown below.

Now seeing a picture of those folks as buried there...especially if more than a century not that common.  Here is the picture of Edward T. and Ellen Henderson in the same position as they are buried above.  I am sure that when the picture was taken they had no idea that they would end up in the grave as shown.  The span of their life past down their combination of genes to my grandfather, then father, and then me.

As in in death...a headstone it is.

Friday, February 26, 2016

God's Finger

The sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up our existence can vary widely from individual to individual.  Some have a large number of years to conduct or pass one's time, and some have very few.  For Charley B. Jones, it was not all that many.

Buried in a long forgotten, isolated family cemetery some 139 years ago, Charley Butler Jones had roughly ten of these years.  He was the older brother to my great grandfather Edward Turner Jones who would have been around six when Charley died.  What were his ten years like?  A childhood at "Old Cane-Springs" just where the ferry crossed the Kentucky River at the mouth of Red River.  The Red River road brought folks to the ferry, and it must have been an active place day in and day out.  Much to provide physical and mental stimulus to this life.  Ten years and your gone.  Maybe he filled his days with excitement...knowing what it is to be one of those Jones boys growing in my own world.  He had a bunch of older brother and sisters [nine to be exact] that would have helped keep him out of trouble...or helped lead him into trouble.  Brothers and sisters are like that you know.  On his headstone it reads: "God's finger touched him - and he slept".  What would your brothers and sisters write on yours?

Saturday, February 13, 2016


A visible mass of particles of water or ice in the form of fog, mist, or haze suspended usually at a considerable height in the air is a cloud.  They often appear as a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air such as the following:

There happens to be all sorts of clouds.  The names vary from such words as cirrus, stratus, cirrostratus, and altostratus.   I believe the ones shown above are called cumulus.

Now cloud may also mean to become troubled, apprehensive, or distressed in appearance.  Let's cloud the issue so as to make it unclear or confused.  These kinds of clouds can make one confused or anxious.  To cast gloom over is often the result.  All sorts of names also tag these cloud as they past through our sky.  For each of us, these names will vary.

Well, the clouds above have blocked the sun.  They certainly appear dark and gloomy on one side.  Such may be many of the days that pass before us.  Yet, one can imagine where the saying "the clouds silver lining" originates.  Given enough time, the cloud will pass away.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Brother and Sister A Century Ago

Brothers and sisters often have a special relationship.  Older bothers especially like to order around their little sisters, and vise visa.  The following picture shows my grandfather [ Joseph Wheeler Jones] and his younger sister [Eliza Mildred Jones] taken around 1903.  He would have been roughly six years old, born July 5, 1898; and Mildred would have been two years old or so, born April 14, 1901.  An older sister [Nona Lee Jones, b. April 27, 1895] was not in this picture, and it is a mystery as to why not.  She had the same birthday month [April] as Mildred, and maybe she was to have her separate photo...being the oldest and nearing the age of ten.  Maybe it was because these two looked almost like twins, having the same round head, eyes, nose, and that horizontal facial smile that seemed to follow "Pap paw" [What I called Joseph Wheeler Jones] in most of his pictures yet to come.  See what you think...

 Now, this does not look like the best way to take a photo?  Pap paw is standing, squeezed into the back side of the chair with his legs pushed against the arm.  It appears that he did not have enough room to place his hands comfortably alongside his body.  There is a large draped, most likely stool, wedged into the fancy wicker chair where Mildred is sitting.  Her body is twisted with almost a 45 degree angle to her feet which reveal a pair of shoes pointing almost 180 degrees.  The cushion shows signs of the weight with the chair tilting slightly toward Pap paw. His laced shirt, high collar, and fluffy sleeves show through.  No wonder Pap paw's face has that "you've got to be kidding me" look about it.  [Now I know why Nona is not in the more room in this chair!]  Just room for two...a brother and sister a century ago.