Oral History of James Marion Jones

Dublin Core

Title

Oral History of James Marion Jones

Alternative Title

Oral History, Jones

Subject

Oviedo (Fla.)
Education--Florida
Airplanes--United States

Description

An oral history of James Marion Jones, conducted by Elizabeth Tammaro on March 19, 2015. Jones, who was born June 19, 1945, grew up in Oviedo, Florida, and had a long career as teacher and assistant principal in Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS). This oral history interview conducted by Elizabeth Tammaro at the Lawton House on March 19, 2015. Interview topics include family history, such as his great-great grandfather's service in the American Civil War under A. P. Hill, an historic dental kit of one of his ancestors, and his parents, who worked at the post office, with his father being the postmaster general for many years. Other topics include his brother, vacations and summer activities, college at the University of Florida (UF), the Oviedo School plane crash , life in the Navy, his career in education, how Oviedo has changed over time, hobbies, marriage and children, and influence of past teachers.

Abstract

Oral history interview of James Marion Jones. Interview conducted by Elizabeth Tammaro at the Oviedo Historical Society in Oviedo, Florida, on March 19, 2015.

Table Of Contents

0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:28 Ancestry
0:05:24 Parents and siblings
0:10:00 Growing up in Oviedo
0:15:38 Plane crash near the Oviedo School
0:20:17 Career in the Navy and in education
0:23:24 How Oviedo has changed over time
0:25:27 Hobbies and marriage

Creator

Jones, James Marion
Tammaro, Elizabeth

Source

Jones, James Marion. Interviewed by Elizabeth Tammaro, March 19, 2015. Audio record available. Oviedo History Harvest, Oviedo Historical Society, Oviedo, Florida.

Date Created

2015-03-19

Date Copyrighted

2015-03-19

Date Modified

2015-12-08

Has Format

18-page digital transcript of original 28-minute and 49-second oral history: Jones, James Marion. Interviewed by Elizabeth Tammaro, March 19, 2015. Audio record available. Oviedo History Harvest, Oviedo Historical Society, Oviedo, Florida.

Is Part Of

Oviedo Historical Society Collection, History Harvest Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Format

audio/mp3
application/pdf

Extent

26.3 MB
185 KB

Medium

28-minute and 49-second audio recording
18-page digital transcript

Language

eng

Type

Sound

Coverage

Mitchell Hammock, Oviedo, Florida
Oviedo High School, Oviedo, Florida
Sweetwater Park, Oviedo, Florida

Accrual Method

Item Creation

Mediator

History Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by James Marion Jones and Elizabeth Tammaro and published by RICHES of Central Florida.

Contributing Project

Curator

Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

"RICHES Podcast Documentaries, Episode 41: Oviedo, with Dr. Richard Adicks." RICHES of Central Florida. http://riches.cah.ucf.edu/audio/Ep41-Oviedo.mp3.
Adicks, Richard, and Donna M. Neely. Oviedo, Biography of a Town. S.l: s.n.], 1979.
Robison, Jim. Around Oviedo. 2012.
"History." City of Oviedo, Florida. http://www.cityofoviedo.net/node/68.

Transcript

Tammaro
Okay. Today, it is March 19th, 2015. I am interviewing James [Marion] Jones as part of the UCF [University of Central Florida] Oviedo History Harvest, and we are recording this interview at the Oviedo Historical Society located at the Lawton House in Oviedo, Florida. So my first question is: what is your full name?

Jones
My full name is James Marion Jones. That’s Marion—M-A-R-I-O-N. I was born June the 19th, 1945.

Tammaro
Um, and when did your family come to Oviedo?

Jones
My—on my paternal side, my, uh, great-great grandfather was…

[cell phone rings]

Jones
Was Batts Nusum Mitchell. He was the first one to move here in about 1870. He was, uh, a dentist, and he also farmed in the area now known as Mitchell Hammock, and—off Mitchell Hammock Road, which that’s named for him. Uh, in fact, he’s buried out in the Drawdy[-Rouse] Cemetery. You know where that is? Rouse-Drawdy[sic] Cemetery on Rouse Road, by UCF.

Tammaro
Oh, yeah.

Jones
Uh huh, he’s buried out there. He was the first one of our family to move from[sic] Oviedo—to Oviedo from Georgia, uh, again around 1870.

Tammaro
Okay, um, did you—your maternal family—did they live here? Or is that…

Jones
Excuse me?

Tammaro
Different? Your maternal family?

Jones
Oh, my maternal family. My maternal family—my, um, mother’s—my, uh, mother’s family was from Macon, Georgia.

Tammaro
Oh, okay.

Jones
And as far as I know, back there, on their side, my great-great grandfather fought in the [American] Civil War. His name was C. A. Dewberry. Uh, he fought in A. P. Hill’s division of the Army of Northern Virginia, under—under [Robert E.] Lee. He was, uh, injured in the Battle of Vicksburg[1], was captured at [the Siege of] Petersburg,[2] held as a POW [prisoner of war] in Virginia until the end of the war, and, uh, the[?]—he lived until 1922—I believe that it was—then[?] died in Macon, Georgia, and then my—I don’t know how my mother and father met in Macon, but they did, married in Macon, and then he brought her back to Oviedo where the rest of my paternal side was—was living at the time, and, um, my, uh—again, it was my—I keep getting all the greats confused [laughs] —Great-great-great-grandfather was Batts Mitchell. He has a daughter…

[cell phone rings]

Jones
Named Emma Jean Mitchell, who married the first Jones, uh, and her name was, uh, Emma Jean Mitchell Jones. They’re buried right here in the Oviedo Cemetery

Tammaro
Oh.

Jones
And—and again, he practiced farming out in what’s now known as the Mitchell Hammock area, and he, uh, practiced dentistry too, and, uh, when he, uh—when he died, we gave his dental kit, which is a rather elaborate dental kit, to the University of Florida and the Florida State Museum

Tammaro
Oh, wow.

Jones
In Tallahassee. That’s a picture of his dental kit. They’re all pearl—pearl-handled, uh, instruments, uh, even still had some of the chemicals and that—that he—they used then in 1870s, including arsenic—believe it or not [laughs].

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
And stuff like—you can have that, if you’d like.

Tammaro
Oh, thank you.

Jones
And I still have the original picture of it too, if you ever wanted a better copy, but, um, uh, it—it—yeah, they moved here. He traced it—we traced it—we can trace his lineage—Mitchell’s—back to 18—to 1700s, and they moved here from Ireland and Scotland. Uh, in fact, I don’t know if you’d be interested in any of this or not. I just ran, uh, this, uh, thing. I didn’t do all this work. Somebody else did…

Tammaro
Mmhmm.

Jones
This work, but that was the, um—the lineage there.

Tammaro
Oh, wow.

Jones
Of, um, where we came from. I’m somewhere around generation six or seven, I believe. Uh, it goes back to—it goes back to the old country anyway, beginning like when the first Mitchells moved here from Ireland and Scotland. One of ‘em served in the [American] Revolutionary War, and then his son served in the War of 1812, and then we had some that fought in the, uh, Civil War, for the South[3] of course [laughs].

Tammaro
Right.

Jones
The— I [inaudible]—the War—War of Northern Aggression, it was known as in the South, you know?

Tammaro
Mmhmm.

Jones
[laughs].

Tammaro
Wow.

Jones
And, uh, just—just for you—your case, that’s the, uh, maternal side where I came from,

Tammaro
 
Mmhmm[?].

Jones
And, um, the first one of that, [inaudible] I can’t trace her back as far as the old country. I never had really tried though, but that’s where they came—they all came from Macon, and thank God they left Macon too. You ever been to Macon, Georgia?

Tammaro
I have not.

Jones
Oh, don’t ever go.

Tammaro
No?

Jones
It is hot, dirty, smelly—oh, it’s a terrible place [laughs]. Great place to be from [laughs].

Tammaro
Right.

Jones
But, um, anyway…

Tammaro
Okay[?], um, so, what did your parents do?

Jones
My, uh, oh, okay, uh, like I say, uh, Dr. Mitchell—he had a, um—his daughter Emma Jean married the first Jones. He had a general store in Oviedo. He—he would’ve been my great grandfather, and then my grandfather, uh, continued that on, and he had a general store. He also worked for the railroad, and he was postmaster of Oviedo for about 15 years, and then his son—my father—John Batts Jones, Jr., uh, was postmaster of Oviedo post office for 25 years until his death in [19]63.

Tammaro
Okay[?]. Um, uh, what would you say your father was like—like his personality?

Jones
Uh, he was very businesslike. Uh, they worked hard back then. Uh, I know that, back then—actually when he was a postmaster—back then, in those days, the post office was open six days a week, including Saturdays, and of course, they had to be there in advance to open up, they had to be there afterwards to shut down, so I’ll bet you he worked a 70-hour week, and my mother was a clerk at the post office as well, and, uh—so they worked long, hard hours. It was—it was—back then in those days, it was—it was a hard life. It was a lot—lot of hours of work. [Inaudible], you know, we don’t appreciate it, uh, now, I don’t think, uh, but they did. They worked very hard. He’s very businesslike, but, uh, they were good.

They had, uh, two children: my brother[4] and myself. Uh, both of us went to Oviedo High School. I think there were 12 in my brother’s graduating class of Oviedo High School in 1955. There were 30 in my graduating class in 1963, and there were half—there were about five of us, I think, that started in the first grade together and went all the way through—graduated together.

Tammaro
What did your brother do—go on to do?

Jones
My brother, uh—you see, the basketball picture up? He was a, uh, superstar in basketball. In fact, he set records at Oviedo High School that are[?]—still exist. He’s in the hall of fame up there, and he got a full basketball scholarship to the University of Florida, uh, and he played up there his freshman year. He was red-shirted his sophomore year, and then in the summer of his sophomore year, he was working for the Alachua County, just to make some spending money, and he—and, uh, he was, uh, working with the road department, and he was sawing a limb off a tree and he had a terrible accident, fell, and nearly died, and—and he—and he was left with a severe handicap after that, which he had to cope with for the rest of his life.

So that ended his—any potential sports career that he might have had, because he was—he was excellent in basketball particularly, but[?] he was also a good baseball player. Oviedo didn’t have football back then. We didn’t have enough people in the school to have a football team [laughs].

Tammaro
Oh.

Jones
Uh, oh, where was I? Then, of course, uh—then I grew up in his shadow. He was eight and half years older than me. I certainly grew up in his shadow. Oviedo was a little town back then, and everything circulated around the church and the school.

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
And, of course, everybody in town knew everybody, whether you went to the gas station to get gas for your car, or whether you went to the barbershop to get a haircut. It was really—you’ve seen the movie. Do you remember—you remember Mayberry R.F.D.—that TV series?

Tammaro
Oh, I don’t know.

Jones
Okay.

Tammaro
Sorry.

Jones
You’re too young. Okay, it was just a little one stoplight town, and I grew up in his shadow. “Are you going to be as good as your brother? You gonna be…” Well, Johnny was 6’3”, 185 pounds in high school. I was 5’8, 140 pounds [laughs]. There wasn’t any way I was going to be another Johnny Jones in sports, but he was my hero, nevertheless. I loved him to death, and—and, uh, we had a good, warm, uh, relationship growing up until he, uh—until his injury [inaudible] almost took his life.

Tammaro
Mmhmm[?].

Jones
Buddied around with him. You wouldn’t know we were eight years difference, ‘cause he always took me along with him everywhere—just about everywhere he went.

Tammaro
Um, okay, so did you have any favorite family stories that you wanted to tell?

Jones
Oh.

Tammaro
Or any traditions?

Jones
Gosh, well, our, uh—like I said, work was always a big part of, uh, my mother and dad’s life, and when it came to, uh, vacation time, we did one of two things: we either went to the mountains in North Carolina or we went to Daytona Beach and spent a week or two—or a week or two up in the mountains. That was—that was their life. That’s what they loved to do. They loved to go to the mountains and they loved to go to the beach. So we would do that. Of course, I was like an only child, uh, because my brother being so much older. So when we would go on these vacations, I was like an only child, by myself. Wasn’t anybody to play with, but I had to make up my own, uh, time. Uh, in the summer, uh—again, all the life in Oviedo, in that time, circulated around either the church or the school during the regular year. When I say “regular year,” I mean like the school year from September to June.

Tammaro
Mmhmm.

Jones
Uh, uh, and then in the summers, the only thing there was to do in the summers was to go to the Oviedo swimming pool. Are you familiar with the Oviedo swimming pool…

Tammaro
Yes.

Jones
Down in Sweetwater Park?

Tammaro
Yeah.

Jones 
It was built on WPA.[5]

Tammaro
Oh, really?

Jones
Uh huh, uh, back in the ‘30s, and it really was a nice pool. It was one of the nicest pools in the area. In fact, people came from as far away as Titusville and others—and other cities to use the Oviedo pool, because it was—it was—it really was a nice pool, uh, for its time. Of course, they ended up closing it in, mm, late ‘60s, because there’s no way—it didn’t meet any mind of health standards. It didn’t have a filtration system. It didn’t have a chlorination system.

Tammaro
Wow [laughs].

Jone
What they would do is, every three or four days, they would empty all the water out of the pool and fill it up with fresh water.

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
So the day after they filled it up with fresh water, it was cold [laughs].

Tammaro
I bet.

Jones
And then, by the fourth day, it was really nice and warm [laughs], but, uh—so that was all there really was to do much in, uh—in Oviedo back in—in, uh, the summertime was the pool, and as it[?] got a little bit older, uh, there were some summer baseball leagues for, uh—for little kids. They called them Babe Ruth Leagues, Where you just, uh—just got together and played, uh, Sanford schools or Longwood or something, uh, and then like I say, during the school year, everything circulated around the church and the school. The “school” primarily meaning basketball games, and, uh, the baseball games, of course, were played, uh, during the day, and so that wasn’t as big a community event, because people were working. They didn’t have lights back then. Um, so, eh, the, uh, basketball games were the main thing—that and—and church. Um, Oviedo was quiet. It was, of course—I started—I was born, again, in 1945, right at the end of the war. It was a quiet little town, safe. Nobody locked anything. I don’t know that we even owned any keys to the house. Um, nobody ever stole anything, or anything like that.

One kind of funny story, along that line, my mother and my brother had been to church one Sunday night. They came home and she went in. I stayed home with my dad, and she woke my dad up, and she called him J. B. that was his nickname, J.B. “J.B., who’s asleep on the couch?” And he, uh—and—and, we had a couch, [inaudible] “Nobody. It’s just Jimmy and I here.” She says “Somebody’s asleep out there on the couch.” So I went out there and sure enough, some drunk had wondered in off the street, laid down on the couch, and gone to sleep [laughs]. So I guess they just woke him up and send him on his way. I would have been just a real little fella at this time, but I remember that was just hilarious, because nobody locked anything. I don’t know if we owned any keys to the house.

Tammaro
Oh.

Jones
[laughs] And everybody else was the same way too.

Tammaro
Oh, um, what church did your family go to?

Jones
The Oviedo Baptist Church.

Tammaro
[inaudible]?

Jones
Right across the street there. Uh huh, my—in fact, my, um—my great grandfather, J. M. Jones, was the clerk of the, uh, church for many years. I don’t know how many. Uh…

Tammaro
Okay, um, did you go on to go to college as well?

Jones
Yeah, I went—after I graduated from high school in ’63, they had a junior college in Orlando called Orlando Junior College at the time. It was a private junior college. I went there for one year, and then I transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville. It was before UCF.

Tammaro
Yeah.

Jones
There were no other—yeah, all the other colleges in the area were a few private schools—private colleges, like Rollins [College], Stetson [College], Florida Southern [College]. So I went to Gainesville, and also I always wanted to go to Gainesville, because that’s where my brother Johnny went too.

Tammaro
Did you enjoy it?

Jones
Oh, yes. Best[?]—look—look back at it now, some of the best years of my life. Of course, like every other kid, at the time, you know, “We gotta hurry up and get outta here and get on with life and blah, blah, blah,” and when you get older, you look back and those are some good years, and—wish I took more time to smell the flowers [laughs].

Tammaro
Um, so I understand you went to Oviedo [School] when the plane crashed?

Jones
Uh huh. Sure, did, and, uh, I wrote up a little thing that I sent to— I don’t know if you got this or if I sent it to—Desta’s[6] her name?

Tammaro
Oh, yeah, I think she told me about it.

Jones
Uh, yeah, I’m, um, you know—do you where the old school was? You seen pictures of the old school up there?

Tammaro
Yeah, yeah.

Jones
It was a typical old two-story, brick schoolhouse.

Tammaro
Mmhmm.

Jones
And I happened to be on the first floor, on the west side, in my English class. The teacher was Jack Caliber[sp], and I was sitting there and staring out the window, as I often did [laughs] in school—class, and I saw, uh, these planes coming barely above treetop level. There were three of them at first. There were, uh, two what they call [North American A-5] Vigilantes. They were all photo reconnaissance planes out of NAS[7] Sanford at the time, and just as they came over treetop, they obviously realized that there was a school dead ahead, and a two-story school, and they were not going to clear it. The playground, which is right across the back of the property here, was full of elementary—the elementary kids were at recess, at that time. Uh, the—the high school kids, like myself—we were all in the big building. Anyway, as soon as they realized that the two Vigilantes just phew, peeled off like that, and that, uh, A3J [Vigilante]—the one you see the picture of there.

Tammaro
Mmhmm.

Jones
That—that’s not the plane. That is just, uh, one of the type planes.

Tammaro
Okay.

Jones
Uh, as soon as he saw it, he did—what you’re used to seeing planes horizontal. I mean, I served on an aircraft carrier in the Navy, and [laughs] so I’ve seen lots of planes, and you’re used to seeing them, but as soon as he saw the school, he did this, and went completely vertical, and it is still etched in my mind. You—you don’t see planes in that vertical position, and he did that, and then, shoobam, and he landed about, oh, probably no more than a couple hundred feet from the school property, but [inaudible] in the orange grove that was owned by the Ward family at the time, and of course, pandemonium was breaking out at the school, even though we—there weren’t many of us. There was only like—oh, like 300 of us in the whole school at the time. That’s grades one through 12, and, um, my business teacher, right across the hallway—Novella [Driggers] Aulin was her name. She said, “Jimmy, Jimmy, won’t you—I need you to go check on Burt [Ward] and Bill Ward. See if they’re okay,” because they—they were some friends of hers that had a mobile home right over there in that area. She said “Here, take my car.” She gave me the keys to her car. Now, I was a junior in high school [laughs].  They’d hang you for this kind of stuff today [laughs]. She handed me the keys to her car, an old Mercury. I remember I had a hell of a time driving it, ‘cause it had some kind of weird transmission.

So I go out there and I jump in, and I was the only one that left the school grounds, and I drove around to the site, and by the time I got over there, the Navy had already posted a sentry, but that—but there—I was from here to the door to the crash, but I think—there was nothing—it was nothing much left. When a plane crashes and burns, I mean, it just—it just burns up. There’s a big ball of, uh, fire from the, uh, jet fuel, but that just goes up—whish, and that’s it. The rest of it then is just smoldering, and I didn’t put this in the write-up, ‘cause it was kind of, um, gross, or macabre, but you get the bodies of the three dead were on top of the ground still strapped into their, uh, seats. Uh, so then I went back to the school and I told—told Novella that Burt and Bill’s house was okay. That is didn’t hit ‘em. Of course, one of the other teachers was mad as hell at me for leaving the school grounds [laughs], but that was okay. he couldn’t do anything, because the other teacher not only gave me permission, told me to go, gave me the keys to her car, and, um, I was—I was on the student council at the time, so, uh, a delegation of us went over to Sanford to the memorial service for the three that died, but they definitely—they gave their lives to avoid hitting that school. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it, because they—they would have hit—there’s no doubt they would have hit it.

Tammaro
Alright, um, so, uh, you were in the Navy?

Jones
Yeah, I was—I was—like I say, I went over to Florida, and I graduated from Florida—the University of Florida—in ’67. This was right in the middle of the Vietnam War.

Tammaro
Ah.

Jones
And, uh, so I had to choose, uh, what I was going to do, so rather than being drafted and going into the Army, I, uh, signed up and I went to, uh, went to the Naval Officer Candidate School in New Port, Rhode Island, where I got commissioned as [inaudible] in 1967. Ending up staying and getting out in ’69, at the end of the war, and I stayed in the Navy Reserves[sic] for 20—a total of 25 years, and retired in 1991 as a captain.

[cell phone rings]

Jones
Yeah, I graduated—I retired in ’91. Um, when I got off active duty in 1969, I wanted to teach, so I went to work for Seminole County [Public] School system. I taught two years at—well, it was, at that time, South Seminole Junior High School. Then it became, the next year, South Seminole Middle School. Then I transferred to Oviedo Junior-Senior High School, where I taught for one year, then they moved the middle school to Jackson Heights [Middle School]. Uh, it had been a sixth grade center and they added the seventh grade out there. So I went out there, and I became the assistant principle at Jackson Heights, and I was there for 21 years, I believe, or—21 or 22 years at Jackson Heights, and then I transferred to Tuskawilla Middle School. I was their assistant principle for nine years, and then I transferred my last two or three years to Lawton Chiles Middle School, where I retired in—I think it was 2003.

Tammaro
What did you teach?

Jones
I taught math.

Tammaro
Oh.

Jones
Mmhmm.

Tammaro
Did you enjoy that[?]?

Jones
Oh, yeah. I’ve always been math—math buff. My, uh, high school math teacher’s probably shaking his head, but, uh—but I did. I would say one thing you might find that was interesting: I remember when I—when I was at, uh, Oviedo Elementary School, you know, the—the price of one of those half pints of milk were three cents, at that time [laughs].

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
I think a full lunch—and it was a full lunch back then—it wasn’t the kind of lunches they have now—like, it was 30 cents, but the milk was three cents. So it’s a different time, and, uh, so then after, uh—after I, uh, retired, then I—I, uh, always liked the, uh, east coast, and Oviedo was getting so big. This area was getting so big then that I decided to move over the Melbourne. That’s where I’ve been ever since.

Tammaro
Yeah. So how do you feel about all the changes in Oviedo?

Jones
Oh, I tell you. It’s, uh—it’s progress, I guess, but there’s sometimes [laughs] I wish they’d just put it back the way it was, but, you know, you can’t go back again. That’s just—it’s gonna get—it’s—in the next 20 years, it’s gonna be even bigger. No doubt about it. It’s—it’s—it is something. It’s something. I remember when I was in high school, where—where UCF is out there, that property was for sale, and it had a plywood si—signs up there with, uh, Carrigan and Boland Realty. All that property was for sale for 300 dollars an acre.

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
And the—and the sign stayed there ‘til it rotted down. That’s just how [laughs]—it wasn’t—you can imagine now what it’s worth [laughs].

Tammaro
Yeah.

Jones
[laughs].

Tammaro
That’s crazy. Did you hear they’re tear—they’re gonna make this road[8] bigger?

Jones
Yes, they did. I have, um—my cousin, um, Mary Jones, um, owns one of the buildings in the old…

Tammaro
Oh, really?

Jones
Down—Mary Jones Bird owns one of the buildings, and, uh, in fact, she was here visiting last week, and she told me she had just closed with the State of the Florida. Are they going to take this house down over here—you know, my old house?

Tammaro
Um, I don’t think so, I think it’s everything before the Baptist church. Like Townhouse [Restaurant]…

Jones
All that way?

Tammaro
Down that way.

Jones
Um…

TammaroYeah.

Jones
Uh huh, okay.

Tammaro
So I don’t think so.

Jones
I just wondered if they were going to take it down. I—I guess it’s open to some—some sort of office buildings…

Tammaro
Yeah.

Jones
Or something in there now. Many years ago, I was here for one of their[9] Great Day in the Countries, and I, uh, just went over there and walked through, just kind of looked around for old time’s sake, because as a little kid, I remember I thought it was huge, and then I went in and looked and I said, Man, this is little.

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
[laughs] But, uh, okay. I was wondering about that.

Tammaro
Yeah, I think that staying. Um, okay, so do you have any interests or hobbies?

Jones
Yeah, boating, sailing…

Tammaro
Boating?

Jones
Fishing, outdoor activities like that.

Tammaro
Okay.

Jones
I, uh, right now, in my retired years, I spend three—three months a year, I spend over in the Bahamas, and then we come back during the—when hurricane season starts, we start getting ready to go back the next year, and we have a lot of family that comes over with us every year, ‘cause they all love it, and stay with us for a week or two, and friends, so that’s what—that’s what I’m—that’s what my life’s doing right now.

Tammaro
Do you have family that’s still here in Oviedo?

Jones
Yes, uh, my daughter Dawn [Raquel Jones] Jensen is very active in the [Oviedo] Historical Society.

Tammaro
Oh, okay.

Jones
You know her?

Tammaro
Yes, I think I met her.

Jones
Yeah, that’s my daughter. Uh, my, um—my other daughter, Kathy [Jones], lives in Miami Beach. I have a daughter, Pam [Jones], that lives over in, uh, East Orlando, and then just two years ago, I—we lost a son, uh, uh, Jimmy. I[?]—he passed away and, uh, lost him, and that’s—that’s the family, and my cousin, Mary—she, uh—she was down—she lives in Asheville, North Carolina now. She was a longtime Oviedo resident too, but I guess that Dawn actually is really the only one who’s still living in the Oviedo area—in Oviedo, as per se.

Tammaro
Right. Alrighty, um, so were you remarried—your wife?

Jones
Yeah, uh, I got married, um, out of, uh, college. Had the two children, Pam and Jimmy, and then that marriage didn’t survive. Remarried in 1995, uh, a girl from Goldenrod. We had two children Dawn and Kathy, and that’s it.

Tammaro
Oh, okay. Um, so is there anything that you want to tell me that I haven’t asked you about?

Jones
Oh, gosh, I’m trying to think…

Tammaro
[laughs].

Jones
Oh, hi. I’m Jim.

Tammaro
[laughs].

Horner
Desta [Horner].

Jones
Oh, you’re Desta. Okay, great. Yeah, uh, we’ve been having a very interesting conversation. I [inaudible]. Let me look here real quick. Dawn, uh, sent me some things, said you might want to mention this, that, or the other. Let me see what it was that, uh, she said to talk about. Uh, uh, um, uh, well, we had, uh—the Oviedo School was really great. We had some really wonderful teachers…

Unidentified
Yeah.

Jones
There, and I really do credit the success that I have had in life with the great teachers that, uh—that we had. I know Mrs. Palmer—Betty Palmer Sprat. She’s a member of your historical society. She was my science teacher in high school—wonderful lady, uh, and there were several others like her that, uh, didn’t take any gruff from us, and believe me, we were capable of hand—handing it out [laughs], but they were always a step ahead of us [laughs].


[1] Commonly known as the Siege of Vicksburg.

[2] Officially known as the Richmond–Petersburg Campaign.

[3] Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly known as the Confederacy.

[4] John “Johnny” Jones.

[5] Originally called the Works Progress Administration and renamed the Work Projects Administration.

[6] Desta Horner, the President of the Oviedo Historical Society.

[7] Naval Air Station.

[8] Broadway Street.

[9] Oviedo Woman’s Club (OWC).

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Tammaro, Elizabeth

Interviewee

Jones, James Marion

Location

Oviedo Historical Society, Oviedo, Florida

Original Format

1 audio recording

Duration

28 minutes and 49 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

128kbps

Locations

Categories