Linda Jones looks forward to Wednesdays. That’s her off-day at Stinson Howard Jewelers in Piedmont, which gives her an opportunity to cook for her entire family.
“All of them come,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years or longer.”
By “everybody” Linda means her husband, Roy, their sons, Darwin, Brian and Barry and their families, which includes eight grandsons and two granddaughters, as well as her sisters, other family members and friends.
Linda said it’s a good thing she likes to cook, because that’s not the only time she cooks a lot.
“Everybody comes to our house about once a month, and we play music,” she said. “There’s usually about 70 to 75 people here. Roy helps me cook and everybody brings a dish. We play gospel, country, rockabilly, it makes no difference, if we like it we play it, and we have a ball. And there’s no alcohol.”
The Jones home has been the site for this get together for about 40 years.
Linda said she’s no drummer, but she does like to play the snare drum. “I like keeping time with them,” she said.
Roy plays lead guitar, their oldest son, Darwin, plays bass, and Michelle Hudson sings. Harold Parris is on steel guitar and Rodney McReynolds, Brian Carroll and Dan Freeman play guitar. Linda said that all the guitar players also sing.
For many years, Linda and Roy made syrup at Nances Creek Community Center. That led them to create trade there which is the first Saturday of the month June through October.
Linda has worked in jewelry stores for the past 30 years. She spent the first 20 at the old DuBar’s store. It was bought by Stinson Howard who built a new store and asked Linda to stay on as manager. She’s been there 10 years.
“Sometimes I’ll ask my boss (Sam Stinson) if he’s ready for me to retire and he’ll say no,” said Linda, admitting that she doesn’t want to retire.
“I love all of it,” she said. “I love meeting people and selling. I’m never out and I’m never late. My boss said he’s going to put on my tombstone ‘old reliable’. They’ve just turned the store over to me more or less. I pay my own self. I write my own check and I write Brandon’s check. I tell people that selling, cooking and eating are all I’ve ever done.”
Brandon Stinson repairs jewelry. Linda’s sisters, Olene Penny and Thyra Smith take turns working on Saturdays.
Linda was born in Jacksonville and moved to Nances Creek when she was a baby. She’s lived there ever since. Her parents are the late Mitchell and Emma (Smith) Doss. She graduated from White Plains High School.
She and Roy met at the Pig in the Basket, a small café that was torn down years ago, that was located in front of Piedmont Hospital.
“Back then, the kids would ride around and go to the Pig in the Basket, then they’d go to the Coffee Cup,” she said. “It was back and forth, back and forth. You’d blow your horn and they’d bring your tray and hook it on the window. They were good times.”
She and Roy married in 1961 The preacher who married them had cut pulpwood that day. When he came home, he had a bath before marrying them, and Linda remembers that his hair was still wet.
Roy’s friend Larry Hill, who lived in Ellisville as did Roy, went with them. Linda said before they could start their honeymoon, they had to take Larry back to his home in Ellisville.
“People spend $50,000 on weddings, and they don’t last,” she said. “We didn’t spent anything, and we’ll be married 52 years on Oct. 13. We got married on Friday the 13th.”
Linda and Roy renewed their vows on their 50th anniversary.
“We had a big celebration at Terrapin Creek Lodge” said Linda. “Our good friend Alice Martin (probate judge) married us. Our kids and grandkids were there and we had a lot of friends.”
Roy is retired and spends a lot of his time tending to his 25 beehives. He was a self-employed cement finisher.
Linda said her husband is a good cook, and she appreciates the fact that when she gets home from work, he often has her plate waiting for her. She likes to prepare Instant Miracle Rolls, Peanut Butter Fudge, Pecan Pie Cake and Tater Tot Casserole.
Contact Margaret at email@example.com
Instant Miracle Rolls
5 c. self rising flour
¼ c. sugar
1 scant t. soda
2 c. warm buttermilk
3 pkg. yeast
1 c. cooking oil
Mix together first three ingredients. Then mix the rest and let sit for 20 minutes. Cut out and bake at 400 degrees.
Peanut Butter Fudge
2 c. sugar
1/ c. Pet Milk
1 stick margarine
15 oz. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
Cook first three ingredients until hard ball. Then stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Beat together and pour into buttered Pyrex dish.
Pecan Pie Cake
1 ½ c self rising flour
1 c. white sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 c chopped pecans
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. cooking oil
1 t. vanilla
Mix together. Pour into long sprayed Pyrex dish. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.
Tater Tot Casserole
Large pack ground chuck
Bag of tater tots
1 c. cream of chicken soup (with a little water)
4 T. soy sauce
Cook ground chuck. Drain grease. Put back into skillet. Add cream of chicken soup and soy sauce. Pour into greased Pyrex dish and add tater tots to top. Bake until tater tots are brown.