John I. Jones
John Isaac Jones is a retired journalist currently living at Merritt Island, Florida.
For more than thirty years, “John I.,” as he prefers to be called, was a reporter for media outlets throughout the world.
These included local newspapers in his native Alabama, The National Enquirer, News of the World in London, the Sydney Morning Herald, and NBC television.
He is the author of six novels, a short story collection and four novellas.
This short story is a testimony to the depths of parental love.
One day in June of 1951, Billy Johnson’s father delayed plowing long enough to teach his son how to trap a rabbit. In the past, he had never seen his father delay plowing for any reason, especially when he was using black hired hands.
The Old Indian
For years, Big Walter had dreamed of becoming Georgia’s Director of Public Safety. Now his big opportunity was before him. The governor’s chief aide said all he had to do was find the body of the governor’s college-age son who had been swept into the raging waters of the Tallulah River in north Georgia.
After three days, however, Big Walter, armed with all of the body-finding technology the 20th century had to offer, came up with nothing. Then one of the locals suggested he talk to an old Indian who lived on the river. This is Big Walter’s story.
It was Mother’s Day and Robert Allman tried to prepare for the occasion. Tradition held that when worshippers attended church on Mother’s Day, those whose mothers were alive wore red roses. Those whose mothers were passed, like Robert’s, would wear a white rose. However, after he could only find a red rose to wear, he never dreamed, not in a million years, what was in store for him.
Archie Johnson thought he was prepared to meet his death in the electric chair. The sentence had been read; he had had his last meal and the prison chaplain had asked God to have mercy on his immortal soul.
Then, just as they were strapping him into the chair and about to pull the switch, he suddenly realized there were a few things he wanted to do before he left this earth. This is Archie’s story.
When Becky Stokes learned that she couldn’t have children, she was devastated. Doctors said corrective surgery could endanger her life and, after thumbing down several other options, she and her husband decided to use a surrogate to produce a child. After the papers were signed, however, nobody, including Becky, could have dreamed what happened next! A story of infidelity and just desserts!
The Old Men
For years, the old men had been hanging around the country grocery store whiling away their days playing checkers and dominoes and talking about politics, women, drinking, and life experiences. All that time, the store owner readily approved their presence in the store and went on about his business as if they were not there. Then, one fateful morning in 1956, a new owner bought the business who was not quite as tolerant. The narrator of this story, an unnamed 13-year-old, was the son of the new owner and explains how his father dealt with the old men who hung around his store.
“Follow love and it will flee; flee love and it will follow thee.” (Old Chinese proverb)
When Alma Dawson, a middle-aged, hard-working single mother, sets out to get the tuition money for her daughter’s last year of college, she never dreamed her entire world would be turned upside down. A poignant, inspiring story, this novelette is a testimony to a devoted mother’s love!