Frances Jones Interview

Dublin Core


Frances Jones Interview


Rosedale Oral History


Frances Jones narrates her childhood experiences in Rosedale, describing her family, friends and home life. She discusses her time at the Rosedale School, some of her teachers and playing tackle football with the boys in the neighborhood. Mrs. Jones also speaks of her husband, her children and living in Rosedale today.


[no text]


July 12, 2019

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Shae Corey, Annalise DeVries


Frances Jones


Interviewee's Home


SHAE COREY: So today is July 12, 2019 and this is Shae Corey and Dr. Annalise DeVries interviewing Miss Frances Jones, so just our first questions are always the really easy ones. So, where were you born?

FRANCES JONES: Actually, I was born, as far as I can remember, I'd say I was born at Hillman Hospital, but the only real home I knew when I was growing up was up on the hill, on the same street, 25th Court.


FRANCES JONES: Yeah, now I can remember a while back that I lived in Titusville, for a little while on first street but it was three--well I was there I guess a long while time, because I went to Washington School. And I was like in the third grade when I came back over here. And they put me back in the first because I was still six years old!


FRANCES JONES: So, I feel like I've been going to school all my life, you know.


FRANCES JONES: But yeah, this, this Rosedale is my memory, my childhood memory.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, so what do you remember about being a child in Rosedale?

FRANCES JONES: Well, the thing, the nice thing about being here was that everybody was watching everybody. Because my neighbor that used to live across the street was, would tell me when I got older that one day, I had my purse in my hand and I was—I had gotten down the hill and she asked me, “Where was I going?” And I told her I was going to town, so she knew, you know, everybody knew everybody so she knew that was not what I needed to be doing so you know, that way, it was a closeness that nobody could actually get hurt or lost because everybody was watching everybody, you know, that was the, the good part and we were kind of, I guess you could say country, because they had cows and chickens and you know, I would watch my grandmother sitting out on the back and she'd wring the chicken's neck, oh you know, that kind of stuff.


FRANCES JONES: But, eventually as it began to grow, and Rosedale joined with Homewood, and it became the beautiful city of Homewood.

SHAE COREY: So, do you remember when it joined with Homewood?

FRANCES JONES: I can remember uh, but not actually, I was old enough to remember but you know during that time they didn't talk to children you know and tell the children, or sit around and listen to adults talk, uh you can remember when these things happened by things that changed. But not necessarily, you know, knowing the events and stuff like that.

SHAE COREY: What type of things changed when that switch happened?

FRANCES JONES: Well, actually, they started fixing the streets. We had wood stoves, when I was young, we had wood stoves.


FRANCES JONES: We had uhm, outside toilets, and a few people had indoor toilets, but you know the majority of people did have outdoor toilets and all that kind of, I guess with the water lines and the gas lines they started uhm paving the streets, because where we lived on top of the hill there were big boulders. You couldn't drive up there, you could barely walk. When we had company, they would have to park right down here and walk up the street.

SHAE COREY: Are you serious?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah and we had—now the mailman couldn't come up here. So, the next street down, 25th Terrace, we had to get a neighbor there to use that address to get our mail.


FRANCES JONES: Yeah, I can remember that because I could remember they would send me down and it was the-it was a brick house, the brick house right down here the second brick house, well it was seventeen—I can't remember seventeen—I can't remember what it was, isn't that terrible? But it was—no it was sixteen something I can't remember. But they would get our mail down there and they would send me down there, you know to go pick it up, come bring it back sometimes.

SHAE COREY: And you'd have to go get it?

FRANCES JONES: That was one of my chores.

SHAE COREY: One of your chores?


SHAE COREY: What other chores did you have to do?

FRANCES JONES: I actually had to do a lot of stuff like getting the wood, coal, because I was an only child.

SHAE COREY: Oh really?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah, so my mother taught me how to do everything. She did not spoil me. The only thing I can say she spoiled me to the point where I didn't have to ask for anything. She would go shopping and whatever the lady's style was, that's what I got, you know. I never had to say, I want--well I did ask for a bicycle but that was a no-no. Since these hills and things...

SHAE COREY: Oh, because you would've fallen off?

FRANCES JONES: Mhm, and I was such a daring child.


FRANCES JONES: And she said, "No, you aren’t going to get a bicycle," because I was on 18th place and my cousins they lived down there and my, I was doing something, and I rode the bicycle and I was looking like, "Look ma, no hands!" And she said, "Oh no, you are never getting a bicycle."

SHAE COREY: You are never getting a bicycle!


FRANCES JONES: Never going to get a bicycle, so that was the end of that. And I knew not to ask anymore, when she said no, firmly, that was it.

SHAE COREY: That was it.


SHAE COREY: So, what did she teach you to do?

FRANCES JONES : I learned to iron, actually to cook, I didn't cook as much then as once we got the gas stove but when we had the wood stove I didn't have to cook that much, we lived with my grandmother, my auntie lived downstairs and so it was just a whole bunch of family and I didn't have to cook that much then but after I got married and my mom decided oh she's just going to get another house and we going to live with her, so that's what happened. Then we moved down on 25th Terrace, yeah.

SHAE COREY: Yes. So, what do you remember about your mom? Like what was she like?

FRANCES JONES: My mom was, my mom was funny. My mom was really funny. I got a picture--let me see this picture. She was a funny, funny lady. She was always telling jokes, always really really happy. This is her and my cousin.


FRANCES JONES: And she would keep, a pocket, she would keep her nutty buddies--she loved nutty buddies, she would keep those in her apron pockets.


FRANCES JONES: So, every time one of the children knew where they were, so they'd just go on up and take them. But she was always joking, happy, and then when she got Alzheimer’s, it was, she was a completely different person and that was--if you've ever had to deal with an Alzheimer’s person, it's, it's really hard. It’s hard. But she was, she was a sweet lady.

SHAE COREY: She's pretty.

FRANCES JONES: She was really sweet. I wish I knew where my grandmother's pictures were, but I don’t, if I find them, I'll call.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, just give me a call.


FRANCES JONES: I have no idea, my son took my album book on home and was looking through it I know he brought it back, but I don't know where he put it. Because once I had the stroke, it was kind of, they have about that blood clot going to my head it affected some of the, my hearing and but it's not as bad as it could have been, thank god. You know? But sometimes, I can't comprehend you know and other times I'm doing fine. So, that's just I just have to learn to deal with it. I want to drive so bad!


SHAE COREY: That's what your granddaughter was telling me! She said, "My grandma just wants to drive."

FRANCES JONES: I want to drive, because I've been so independent! You know, being an only child, I had to do everything for myself by myself. So, when I want to do something, I want to do it right then, you know, so if I want to go cook something, I want to go to the store and get something I don't have, I got to wait and ask somebody to do it and wait until they take their time to do it. You know? I'm just so used to just getting in my car, going to Piggly Wiggly getting what I want and coming back.


SHAE COREY: Yeah. When did you learn to drive?

FRANCES JONES: Actually, I did not learn to drive until my, uh my husband taught me how to drive. That was terrible. We would fuss every day, "I am never going to get in that car again!" And it was like—but yeah, I did, but they were paving the streets at the time that I was learning to drive.

SHAE COREY: Oh, my goodness!


FRANCES JONES: Yup. But we didn't have a car, I don't think we got a car until my son—my youngest son was maybe five or six years old, but we did not have a car. When I was young, we went to church in Titusville, so we had to get on the bus down the high way and we'd go get off on Sixth Avenue and walk down and catch the bus, and go you know, to Titusville. And that was like day and night church, day and night. Sunday day and Sunday night, we would do that. And it was just a routine for me! And that's how I learned the make and models of cars. Because we would, when we were standing on the bus line, every car that passed, I'd say "Daddy, what kind of car is that?" And he would tell me, and all and then I grew up just loving cars. If I miss a car show, that's like—


FRANCES JONES: I have really missed…you see, I didn't get to go to the last car show.


FRANCES JONES: But you see that was my love of cars, he taught me the love of cars.

SHAE COREY: And that was your stepdad?

FRANCES JONES: Mhm, but he was like my dad. He was like my dad.

SHAE COREY: Yeah. And what was he like?

FRANCES JONES: He was really nice, laidback, he was so laidback. My mom was just the complete opposite. And he would say, she'd say uh, “Rutley!" she called him Rutley, "I am the boss!" And he would say, he’d say, "Yeah, Mallie but I'm the superintendent!"


FRANCES JONES: They would do stuff like that! You know, they were so comical together.

SHAE COREY: Oh, I love that. That's so funny.

FRANCES JONES: It was funny.

SHAE COREY: So, what did he do, like for a job?

FRANCES JONES: He worked at a lumber company. He worked at a lumber company right over in uhm, Avondale, right off the railroad track. It was Jenkins Lumber Company, I'll never forget that. He would come home every day with splinters in his foot, I could not figure out, how did he get splinters in his foot?

SHAE COREY: Oh my goodness. In his foot, yeah?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah. But I'd have to take the splinters out until I taught my youngest son how to get the splinters out. But I'd have to take the splinters out of his foot, but you know it was just something enjoyable, I mean it was just something you were doing for your parents that you knew, it was just a good time, it didn't feel like a chore to me it just felt like I was doing something for him, you know.



SHAE COREY: Did you ever figure out why he got splinters in his feet?

FRANCES JONES: No, never could. And then, he would bring chips home, lumber home, when they cut it you know spare lumber, he would bring it home and we'd use it for wood. So, when I'd come home from school, and I would see lumber all up the street I'd be like, "Oh Daddy been here."


FRANCES JONES: Because it fell off the truck, you know just little blocks like this, you know. But it was uh, my childhood to me, was just such a pleasure. It was really, we would get, and see we would go up in Homewood to the store and stuff and I never forget my mom told me, "Don't go anywhere, because I got to go downtown and pay some bills. And I haven't done your hair, or anything so don't go anywhere." And my cousin next door convinced me to go up there with her. Well, I, my mom got back home she already knew. She already know I had gone because she said somebody stopped her and said, "I saw Frances Jean and she looked worse--I never seen her look like that before!" Because my hair wasn't combed yet!


FRANCES JONES: And so, I mean that's the kind of neighborhood we were! And there weren't any telephones, well everybody didn't have telephones and you didn't want to use telephones because you had that four-line party line and you know, you knew your ring was the long ring or the short ring. But then you had to, you could pick up the phone and hear somebody talking and you could listen on to that conversation.


FRANCES JONES: So, you didn't really use the telephone, you just visit across the fence, you know. Stuff like that. But yeah, it was a very pleasant, I mean Homewood was the place to be. It was really nice, it was--we had no problems, no, you know, you could just sit anything outside. I mean we had a banister and you couldn't see but it was like brick all the way around the porch and we would lay out at night, because we didn't have an air conditioning and we would lay out at night on the floor until we got sleepy enough, and then we'd go in our house and go to bed, because once you get sleepy, you going to go to sleep once you cold, but yeah it was great.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, yeah.

FRANCES JONES: It was really great.

SHAE COREY: And I know, we talked a little bit uhm at the reunion about how it was more wooded around here, right?


SHAE COREY: What was that like?

FRANCES JONES: It was nice, because on Sundays that was like our thing to do. The street, at the end of this street, you can see the houses that come out Valleydale Avenue, and all that was woods, even Valley Hill apartments, all that was woods, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and my bedroom window was I could look out, and I could lay in my bed and look out the window and see them building, and hear them saying "Snakes! Snakes!" Like you know they'd blow up a tree or something and then be like, they’d say, "Snake pits!" or something like that.

SHAE COREY: Oh, that sounds terrifying.


FRANCES JONES: Yeah and we would walk in the, during, on Sunday evenings, we'd walk through the woods and they had a rock quarry there and I don't know what they did with it but we would walk through there and they had persimmon trees and we'd walk through and pull the persimmons off the trees and at Christmas time we would cut down our tree and make our Christmas tree. Yup. We didn't have to buy Christmas—they weren't even selling Christmas trees there were so many woods around! Yeah, we had one lady lived right where State Farm is, and they had a big white house sitting right there. Rosedale went a long ways then.

SHAE COREY: It was a lot bigger?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah, up and down. We had people down by the park and all down in there on the other side of Loveless Street, all of that yeah, black people were living in that area. And all the way down the highway it was houses, you know.

SHAE COREY: Yeah. When did you first start to notice like that kind of change?

FRANCES JONES: After they, after our ballpark was where the freeway is now, right next to like Shades Valley. And that's when it seemed to start changing, then, they put the freeway in and started buying some of the houses that were down at the end of it. And closing the street car, you know that kind of stuff. You know we would leave the school and we had a path where we would walk down, and we could go to where the ball park was. Houses was all over in there. Yeah. So that was the beginning of the, the change, and then people started dying and their families were moving, and they were selling and just, again, you know people leave you know and not have family and selling for taxes and start building. Yup. But all on the other side of the highway, all the way up to—where, I'm thinking of something, you know where Soho is, all that was black neighborhood all the way up to there. Yeah. So, we were huge, and all the way on the other side of the highway. All of that. All the way up to where the school is. All the way up to where Piggly Wiggly is now. So yeah, very large neighborhood. We still didn't have a lot a lot of children, but the, we were the county school, Parker was the city school so all the kids from the county like Mason City, Oxmoor, Leeds, Mason City—you know all those area kids came to Rosedale.

SHAE COREY: The Rosedale School. And did you go to the Rosedale School for every grade?


SHAE COREY: Did you go to the Rosedale School for every grade?

FRANCES JONES: Yes, from first grade, mhm, in fact our class was the first first grade to go in the school because we were in churches. So, they, and we've had schools to burn down in separate, you know in different--you know areas. So, when they built that one up there out of rocks, I was, our class, when they left the school, our class was the first to go into the new school.

SHAE COREY: Do you remember when the schools burned down?

FRANCES JONES: No, I don't remember. Because they had one on Loveless Street and all that, I don't remember those, but I do remember when I was first grade we went and came back to Rosedale, I had to go to school in one of the churches.

SHAE COREY: Okay. And then you went to the rock school?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah, went to there and stayed there the rest of the time.

SHAE COREY: What was that experience like for you?

FRANCES JONES: Oh, it was great! It was great and most of our teachers, were uh, a lot of our teachers lived in Rosedale, so you, you couldn't do anything wrong, me and my big mouth, I could always find a reason. I was, one of my teachers, she lived right there, Maple, where Jim n Nicks is now? And she was, it was raining, and we couldn't go outside. So, she decided we would let everybody tell jokes and stuff. So, I get up and I said, and she was chubby, she wasn't fat, but she was, and I’m like, "Well what's the difference between an orchestra and a big fat lady?" And nobody knew, and I said, " An orchestra draws a crowd and a big fat lady crowds her drawers." Now, I'm in school.


FRANCES JONES: I mean it was, I mean I was that kind of child, you know whatever came up came out.

SHAE COREY: Oh, my goodness.

FRANCES JONES: But when I came home my momma already knew this.

SHAE COREY: Oh, my goodness.

FRANCES JONES: But yeah, we had good times, we had good times.

SHAE COREY: Who was your favorite teacher?

FRANCES JONES: Uh, I don't know. I liked all my teachers. I really did. I liked all my teachers I didn't have one I did not like, now the kids when I got grown say I was a teacher's pet. I was, I guess maybe they said that because I would, I didn't have anybody to distract me, so I had to find something to keep me you know occupied. So, I would even get the newspaper and turn it upside down and read it, it was such a challenge, read it upside down. You know, that's the kind of, you know during the summertime my grandmother’s children she had, her daughter and her son lived in Youngstown So, he would always send, her son would always send his children here during the summer. So, I did have some company during the summer but then they went back, you know. Yeah. But I would, they would say I was a teacher's pet. But when I was—one of our teachers lived in Oxmoor and she would ride the school bus, and if the school bus was late, I had to teach the class!

(Phone rings)

FRANCES JONES: Excuse me. Hello? Hey, I tried to call you earlier, but listen I'm talking to the young ladies from Samford, okay. I'll talk to you later, bye. That's Barbara. We talk to each other every morning. Every morning.

SHAE COREY: Aw! She's so funny.

FRANCES JONES: She don't get up until 10 o'clock so I called her this morning and she didn’t answer.

SHAE COREY: Did you guys go to school together?

FRANCES JONES: I was a year ahead of her. Yeah. But our classes was really close, we had recess at the same time. So, we would go up and play ball against each other. Stuff like—I mean they would even let us, we would take, because you know girls didn't wear pants to school, so, oh no. You wore clothes, you wore dresses.

SHAE COREY: Everyday?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah! But now, they would let us bring our pants to school because we wanted to play tackle football.


SHAE COREY: You played tackle football? What?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah! My neighbors, all the neighbors around here were like boys, and this house right here used to be a field. I would come down and if I hadn’t come down, they would call me say "Come on, let's play football." And I played tackle football out with the boys.

SHAE COREY: I love that.

FRANCES JONES: So, they would let us bring our pants to school and we would play football.


SHAE COREY: Oh, that's funny. What else did you guys do at school that you remember? Like what are your favorite memories from going to school there?


SHAE COREY: What are your favorite memories from going to school there?

FRANCES JONES: It was just a fun time, we did, you know we had little different stuff, we had a football team, we had a boy’s basketball team, but we didn't have a girl’s basketball team, you know stuff like that. But we had that recess and we would just enjoy ourselves. Our teachers were really strict, you had to get the, you had to get your lesson and they were mostly, Rosedale was a good school, it was, most of the teachers had their degrees and uh the A-rated school, accredited and we had to do, oh I was so glad when I got out of sixth grade, you know we used to have to do the writing with the O's and the push and they would make us write and they would send our writing off and it was called a Palmer or something and get it graded. Palmer or something I can't remember this, but I remember Palmer, they'd send it off and they would grade our writing. Send it back to us.

SHAE COREY: That's scary.

FRANCES JONES: So. It was, it was interesting! It was.


FRANCES JONES: A lot of stuff they did then well they don't do now, you know, we had truant officers that came in you know, if the child wasn't at school a certain day they would come in and check on them and everything.

SHAE COREY: Oh really?

FRANCES JONES: Oh yeah, uh-huh. And we had one truant officer, she was, she was so strict. She scared, she had that, gave you that scary feeling that if you don't go to school you going to be in trouble, you know?



FRANCES JONES: It was just her demeanor she wasn't mean or anything, but it was like she said what she meant, and she meant what she said. Yup, but it was, it was good times. And I look back now and I'm like man, we were really, we were really blessed. Because now, you say anything to anybody's children, they might cuss you out. You don't know.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: So, you grew up in the house that, that was just up this street and who all was in—who all lived in that house with you?

FRANCES JONES: Uh, my grandmother and uh my aunt, now the house across the street they've torn down the house that we lived in, but the house across the street my auntie built that house.


FRANCES JONES: But, before she built that house she lived downstairs because she had been married and got a divorce, so she lived in the basement we had two bath, two rooms in the basement. She lived in the basement, but she came up the steps to the kitchen you know upstairs so we were really all together but my aunt she had two children, and my mother and grandmother and my mother and my dad and I and my grandmother lived upstairs.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: And you lived there until you got married?


ANNALISE DEVRIES: So, did you get married after High School?

FRANCES JONES: I got married, actually I got married, yeah right, pretty much, yeah.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Did you meet in Rosedale? Or did you meet in school?

FRANCES JONES: No. He went to Ullman, and uh my cousin was going with his brother. We never—we talked on the telephone until maybe two years until we knew what we looked like. I would go to church, pass his house because he lived right there on sixth avenue across from where (unclear) is now, he lived right there on sixth avenue and when I would have to pass there, so I would get out the window and I would kind of wave at him, wave and he'd be playing ball in the street, I'd wave at him. But yeah, we talked to each other on the telephone for maybe two or three years until we actually—you know.

SHAE COREY: Before you met in person?

FRANCES JONES: Mhm. But I knew his brother, because my cousin, my cousin was like maybe three years older than I.

SHAE COREY: What happened when you met in person?

FRANCES JONES: Well, you know, you’d just, he'd just come over and sit on the front porch. You know, then you had date nights you couldn't go, oh you couldn't go to a girl's house, it had to be, was it Sundays and Wednesdays? It was something like that, but—


FRANCES JONES: No! If my mother caught me calling somebody—

SHAE COREY: There were specific days?

FRANCES JONES: On the telephone?

SHAE COREY: You'd get in trouble?


SHAE COREY: So, it was only on Sundays and Wednesdays? That you could go out?

FRANCES JONES: Yup. I'm not sure it was Wednesday but I know it was Sunday and another day during the week.

SHAE COREY: And what would you guys do? For your date, just talk?

FRANCES JONES: We'd just sit down and talk, that's all.


SHAE COREY: You wouldn't go anywhere?

FRANCES JONES: If you wanted to sneak a kiss, you can, you have to sneak!


SHAE COREY: You got to be sneaky about it? That's so funny. And what year did you guys get married?

FRANCES JONES: We got married in ‘53, ‘54? ‘53 I believe. We actually got married before because I got pregnant, so I got out of school and we got married. ‘53, I think it was ‘53 and he graduated that year.

SHAE COREY: And where did you guys live?


SHAE COREY: Where did you live?

FRANCES JONES: I lived with my mother in the house right there, right downhill on 25th Terrace right down the corner, that house, they've made it a single house now, but it was double house and then after that we moved to that white house across the street. And we stayed there until we bought this house, so there's only two streets I've lived in in Rosedale!


SHAE COREY: And what did he do?


SHAE COREY: What did he do for a job?

FRANCES JONES: Oh, he worked at a furniture store.


FRANCES JONES: He worked at a, it was a, right down sixth avenue, right down the street from his mom, it was a, a sale furniture store he sold used and new furniture. And he learned how to, it taught him how to refinish furniture, stuff like that. Made him get his driver's license, because he did not want to drive he hated to drive. That's why I got my driver's license so quick because I knew he didn't, he didn't—my husband was the type of person that he could sit here and be by himself he didn't have to see another person, it was fine with him and see and I was the complete opposite. You know, but so. I had to get myself, I'm going to have to learn how to drive. That's what I did.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: What was his name?


ANNALISE DEVRIES: What was his name?



FRANCES JONES: And my no—I had three children and I got pregnant with the fourth one I had two girls and a boy and then I was just so sure that I wouldn't have another boy I promised him, I would name the child after him, because I'm just so sure it's going to be a girl, and he end up being a boy!


FRANCES JONES: So, I had to name him Albert Junior, and he didn't have a middle name and my son he never goes by Albert, he uses Al. That's it. Nobody actually knows his name is Albert. Unless I, I say it, you know tell them or something.

SHAE COREY: And did all of your kids go to the Rosedale School?

FRANCES JONES: They did—no—my oldest daughter, when they changed—closed the school, my oldest daughter was in the eleventh grade, she went to Shades Valley. My next daughter went to, that's when they had the school, your choice you could go where you wanted to go, she went to Shades—she went to Homewood Middle School, and my youngest child went to—well my daughter and my oldest son they went to middle school and my son he was in the third grade when they closed Rosedale so he went to Shades Cahaba.

SHAE COREY: How did you feel when the school closed?

FRANCES JONES: It was kind of sad, but you know. It had to happen, it just had to happen. But they had a hard time. My, well my daughter, my youngest daughter had a real hard time. Because she had this, she had long hair, but she wanted to wear an afro, so she began to clip it shorter and shorter, she had a big one, still big but it wasn't, you know. And they was having this hard time with not being able to wear your hair natural and it was like—it was, it was terrible.

SHAE COREY: They couldn't—wait what, they couldn't wear their hair natural?

FRANCES JONES: They couldn't wear their hair, they didn't want them to wear the afro. But this was their natural hair.


FRANCES JONES: So, they went through some changes but eventually it got better. It got better.

(Telephone rings)

FRANCES JONES: Why! If I'm here by myself, nobody calls me! Okay, I'm tied up. Yeah, huh? What you need? Oh no, they here now doing the interview. Okay, bye. That's my daughter. "I was just calling to see if you want me to take you to the bank." I like to get a printout now, because there was a time when I first had my stroke, someone got my debit card and took out 700 dollars.


FRANCES JONES: And I kept getting these things, and I couldn't see and my children ain’t thought to look at my card, my account I had a hard time trying to get my money back because they were saying, you know how the bank says that you have to report it in so many days, well I didn't know that then and I didn't know so. I finally end up getting it back, but I'm just so cautious now like I go get a print out every time.


FRANCES JONES: I make sure I look at it and make sure nothing's going on. But yeah.


ANNALISE DEVRIES: So how long have you been in this house?

FRANCES JONES: I've lived in this house, uhm...hmm...since ‘80? I think I want to say somewhere in the 80s, yeah because my daughter had not too long, she was a Birmingham police officer, right after she became a police officer, we got this house so. So, they are retired now, thank goodness. I had two children that, two children that were police officers my son's wife was a police officer, my daughter's husband was a police officer—so everybody's retired now because it's just gotten terrible now. It's gotten terrible, for sure, you know. But yup.

SHAE COREY: So, uhm how many of the Rosedale Reunions have you been to?

FRANCES JONES: I've been to all of them, I don't know, I can't remember how many we've had but I've, I’ve pretty much gone to all of them.

SHAE COREY: Did they start right after the school closed or kind of when did they start up?

FRANCES JONES: You know what, I can't remember, whether it was before or—I think it was before they closed the school because I can remember us going up there and taking pictures, you know, outside the school. But they don't let us do that now.


FRANCES JONES: You know the board of education sold it to the uh—

SHAE COREY: Oh, it's a Muslim School now, mhm.

FRANCES JONES: Muslims? They used to—I don't know if they still have their services up there or not, because at one time they had the speakers and they were so loud, so I actually could sit in here and hear it and I guess they got a lot of complaints on that because eventually, eventually it stopped but.


SHAE COREY: The call to prayer? Is that what it was? Yeah, that's loud.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: If they were doing the call to prayer, yeah. And now most of the services are all in Hoover. That's where most of them--

SHAE COREY: The Hoover Crescent is there?

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Mhm, it's a Muslim (? I hear church). So, I don’t know what all goes on down here now.

SHAE COREY: It's a school?

ANNALISE DEVRIES: It's a school, mhm.

FRANCES JONES: You know, and something about a school being up on a hill, you know it would be easy for it to, to we actually on the same street, the only thing that’s separating us is the highway.


FRANCES JONES: But I don't hear it anymore, so I guess. My daughter was, my daughter was, my granddaughter was dating one of the Muslims, he would go up there and he started telling us about you know things that they would—he was saying men had to go but women didn't—they could go but they weren't required. He was, he was telling us.

SHAE COREY: So, I know, your daughter—does your daughter still live here with you?

FRANCES JONES: My daughter, yeah.

SHAE COREY: And how many grandkids do you have?



FRANCES JONES: I, I, my children, my, my daughter, oldest daughter has two, my other daughter has two, my son has, oldest son has two, youngest son has three, but I think I got more great-grands, I got more great-grands and more great-great-grands. Yeah, I know.

SHAE COREY: That's a lot of kids.

FRANCES JONES: Yeah, my great-granddaughter, one of my granddaughter—is she my granddaughter or my great-granddaughter, I can't even keep up—my granddaughter, uh she had twins and she, she had a third baby and the twins wasn't a year old—I know, what'd they call them, those twins I can't remember now. But anyway, she's had, she's still having a hard time because you know one, I think the twins were born in September, oh no they were born in August and the other one was born in September. So, they all the same age, for that one month.

SHAE COREY: Wow, that's stressful to even think about.

FRANCES JONES: Oh, I see, I told her I said, “I don't see how you do it honey.”




FRANCES JONES: You'd have to have a lot of discipline, oh my gosh I just can't imagine. But she seems to be handling—she was here for the fourth of July she seems to be handling it okay.

SHAE COREY: Did the fireworks go off over your house?

FRANCES JONES: Mhm, you see I sit here, I can’t sit in here and watch them because I had to close that porch, but excuse me, but I can sit on the porch and now before Homewood start having that street thing down there, I think they had it like two years, I think this was the second, but we don't have a crowd up here like we used to. We used to crowds all over the place you couldn't even get in or out, it was so packed but now it's much better since they go down there and have the thing and everything, much better.

SHAE COREY: So, did your other kids, you have four kids and your daughter lives with you, did your other three kids move away? Like where did they—

FRANCES JONES: Oh no they still here in Birmingham.


FRANCES JONES: I have one son that works at Alabama Power, the retired police officer he was a, he did the part time, you know how they have police in there and they gave him the job, after, when he retired and my other son lives at, my other daughter lives up the street, she lives up the hill and my oldest, my youngest son lives in Chelsea, he lives in (?) but he's getting ready to build, he got his house up for sale so he's getting ready to build a house in the country in Chelsea, I said "Oh, it's country for sure in Chelsea because they don't have street lights."



FRANCES JONES: I say, because he wanted to move out somewhere where he could uh, he likes to work on cars and he has about six or seven cars, might be more now but he even have cars up in his garage, so he wanted to have somewhere where he could have a house and then have a garage big enough to hold all the cars. So, he moved to, he moved to Chelsea.


FRANCES JONES: And my granddaughter, my little granddaughter, like she’s, Branah, I want to say she's ten or eleven, somewhere in there. I might be off a little bit, but she likes to cook, so she makes cakes and they take them to church one Sunday and after church she have a bake sale and she sells out all of them, all her stuff, mhm. Yup.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: So how—this is to go back to church—how long did you keep going to church in Titusville and did you start, did you eventually start going to church here in Rosedale or?

FRANCES JONES: Nope, still go over there, still go over there the only difference is we got a bigger church, uh do you go out that way? By (unclear) anytime?


FRANCES JONES: Oh, okay, okay because we right there, you know where that McDonald’s is, right across, we are right behind that McDonalds.

SHAE COREY: What's the name of the church?

FRANCES JONES: Woodland Park Church of Christ. Been there all my life, we have a choral group and they keep saying, "Well when are you going to come back?" I said, "I don't think I'm going to come back."

SHAE COREY: Did you sing in the choir?

FRANCES JONES: We don't have a choir we sing congregational, but we have a choral group.

SHAE COREY: Ah, okay.

FRANCES JONES: And we kind of perform like if something special going on—like on the third Sunday in March we have Friends and Family Day and we invite people we might sing while they are getting the food prepared and all that, downtown we might sing while they're doing that or sometimes another church is having something going on they might invite us to sing, or something. But I told them I don't even know whether I can carry a note too long!


FRANCES JONES: They talk about, "We going to get you a chair, and you're going to sit right here." I said, "Oh, yeah right."

SHAE COREY: Get a spotlight for you!


FRANCES JONES: Oh yeah. But uh it's, I mean it's like they are just so sweet. When I got sick, oh I got a, I still got a bag full of cards right there that I haven't been able to see the address and write thank you cards that they sent me and all, preparing the food. We have a, a zone, our church has a zone because we have grown and for people to interact with each other, so we separate in zones like the South Zone, people that live in the South part and they get together periodically and socialize together and my, the man that is over our zone, he, he cooked me a meal—salmon. With his own recipe, it was so good, but you know how expensive salmon is.


FRANCES JONES: He brought that to me, I mean a full meal, him and his wife and then we had another guy he used to live in Rosedale, he fixed a huge dinner and brought it over here, we had more food than we could even eat, you know! But you know you just hear about it, it's just so sweet it's just so nice. And the girl come in, and she say, “Well, you know it's because you were real nice,” but you know I sew for everybody in the church because I don't charge a fortune. I don't, I mean I charge, because people say "You just don't charge enough" but I'm like—you know this is my God-given talent, my mom sewed and I was watching her and her telling me little tips, I start sewing and I like sewing complicated stuff like wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses and stuff.


FRANCES JONES: Mhm so I feel like if this is my God-given talent, I don't think I should be charging a fortune, for hemming somebody's pants—or you know?


FRANCES JONES: I just, I just don't see it that way. And they say, “Well you just don't charge enough,” and this girl, last week was saying, "Frances you know, we sure miss you,” because we--somebody--they took that skirt to have it taken up, she said "She charged me a fortune and she still didn't do it right!"


FRANCES JONES: Well I said, "Take it back! Take it back! Take it back to her, make her do it right."

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Did you work as a tailor out of your home, or did you?

FRANCES JONES: I just sew at home.


FRANCES JONES: I got my sewing machine, just, I bought a brand-new suit before I had the stroke it was my daughter's birthday, I bought the suit, I bought her a suit and I saw one I liked, and I bought it for myself. Well, uh, this was in September, and I had the stroke and I don't know when, but it was on her birthday I realized something was wrong. I have never been able to have the suit on because the skirt, and I lost weight so the skirt was too big, and—

BOY: Hey grandma!


BOY: Aw, crap, my bad.

FRANCES JONES: You can come through!

(Door slams)

FRANCES JONES: But I have not been able to wear it, because it's too big. And you know, my son said "Well, I'm going to come over with my sewing machine, and you can show me how, how I can take it up for you." But that hasn't happened. He doesn’t have time, he tries to do so much. So, I just got it hanging in the closet. So, I—but I wish I could sew a little bit and I could take up my new suit a little bit to wear it. Yup. But those were the good old days.


FRANCES JONES: Say hello! He going to pretend he's shy.

(Little boy yelling)

FRANCES JONES: Stop running!

SHAE COREY: He's so cute.


ANNALISE DEVRIES: My daughter's almost three.

FRANCES JONES: Is she? Is that the only one?

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Uh, I only have the one, thus far.


FRANCES JONES: Well you got to have another one.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Yeah, she needs a, she needs a friend. She needs a little buddy. She says she wants a little brother named Graham.

FRANCES JONES: She already named him?


SHAE COREY: She already has him named!

FRANCES JONES: That's cute!

ANNALISE DEVRIES: She has a friend who's got a little brother named Graham, so she wants to have the same thing.

(People walking through house)


(People meeting, various introductions/ talking)

SHAE COREY: He's so funny, he's like a little tornado.

FRANCES JONES: Oh, he a mess. He wears a shirt everyday with writing on it so I say, “What your shirt say today,” sometimes he'll hold it out so I can read it. Today, I asked him—hey Jordan, Jordan, come here. So silly. I said, “What your shirt says,” and I forgot what he said he says it say, "Friends For-e-veer" and I say, “Okay it's got F-A-M it looks more like it would be family to me.”


SHAE COREY: I guess it says whatever he wants it to say that day.

FRANCES JONES: But they are sweetie pies.

SHAE COREY: Well I guess I probably just have one more question. What are your hopes for this community, what would you love to see in Rosedale?

FRANCES JONES: Oh okay. I would love to see it kind of remain, I don't want to stay down, but to remain the same—a neighborhood. I, and I feel like if they sold, if they would be able to get this property, I feel like it would end up being a gated community, you know? That's, that’s what I'm feeling like, I just wish we could get that warmness back that we had and knowing your neighbors and being able to stand out and talk to them and you know—just to know where they're coming from, you know? Because that's the way we do it, that's what we do at church, like we used to live here, we—the only thing I don't like about our church now is that we have a front door and a back door, the front door where you pull in and you be out of the weather, you know you getting out the car. But a lot of people go out the back door, a lot of people go out the front, and you know they've been at church because you've seen them sitting there but you don't get to fellowship, you know like we used to, everybody talk to everybody and all, but that's just, that’s the way it was in our neighborhood, you know, everybody, and when somebody died I mean you know everybody, they didn't have to buy—you wouldn’t have to cook food for maybe two or three weeks because they brought you so much stuff, you know, it was just a lot closeness and you could come over here and not know but one person, and you could stop down there on that highway, used to be a lot of boys would congregate down there but you could just say, "Do you know where such and such live?" And they could take you directly to them, because everybody knew everybody, you know. But you can't do that anymore.


FRANCES JONES: Now we got to worry about rabbits and stuff. We have to worry about the rabbits and stuff, oh it's terrible.

SHAE COREY: What rabbits?

FRANCES JONES: You know we got a lot of Mexicans around, right?


FRANCES JONES: So, they got out the rabbits and they let them run around like they dogs, just, they all be all up under my driveway, up under my daughter's car.

SHAE COREY: Hmm. That's so interesting.

FRANCES JONES: And her car, it got full of fleas, and I guess they were coming out from the underside.

SHAE COREY: That's interesting. I did not even…

FRANCES JONES: It's just, it's just terrible. It’s just terrible. It is, it’s terrible. And the guy down the street, had a dog on a long leash tore down my fence, over there, back there. I know so when my daughter had called about the rabbits and she was trying to go over there and he uh, he must have thought about the dog and the fence because they wouldn't even come to the door. You know how the police will put the siren on and let them know they out there, and they wouldn't come to the door for him, but all their cars were there so, but I noticed that they started putting my fence back up and put the dog on a shorter leash. So, they must have thought that I had called them about the dogs, but they weren't there for that no way, you know. It helped a little bit.


FRANCES JONES: But I mean, you know, stuff like that, and they're not, they're not very friendly at all. And I say, well I wish they would be a little more friendlier, but they look at you like, "Why are you invading my neighborhood?" You know, like we're the wrong ones to be here!


FRANCES JONES: So, I just, I just wave anyway whether they wave or not, just go along.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Do you think part of that might be language?


ANNALISE DEVRIES: Do you think part of that might be language?

FRANCES JONES: I don't—I don't know, now I know the, the women seems to be a little less friendlier than the men because I know they'll be out and they'll wave back, but the ladies won't do that. So, I don't know what, I don't know, I don’t know what it is.

SHAE COREY: It might just be a cultural thing.

FRANCES JONES: It could be, it could be—but I just feel, you know not everybody feel like I feel, so everybody's not going to think like I do, but I just feel like if I walked into a neighborhood that's not familiar for me, I would be trying to at least talk to my neighbors, you know. And I wouldn't be standoffish, unless they gave me the impression that they don't want to be bothered, but they you know, they get together with each other, because they have little, like on the weekends they have their tents up cooking their food and they'll all be over, so you know, I guess most of them know each other so I guess that's enough for them. They only communicate between themselves, you know, which is fine. I'm just saying, that's, you know, it just seems to me that if it would be a lot easier if they would, you know, would just kind of communicate with us, and you're right, I hadn't thought about that they might not speak English well enough to, I don't know. I don’t know.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Yeah, it would be challenging.


ANNALISE DEVRIES: It would be challenging.


SHAE COREY: This is kind of a random question, but do you remember, uh like the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham?


SHAE COREY: The Civil Rights Movement, in Birmingham—


SHAE COREY: What do you remember about that?

FRANCES JONES: Well, I know that they were doing the, uh, the uh putting the hose on them down at the park, you know and my husband was down that way, and he was saying they were putting the hoses on people… my husband grew up on the South Side, which you know was kind of a rough neighborhood, they always feared the police, and he just didn't want no part of it, he just kind of you know, scratched it out, but I was pregnant with my youngest child, so I wasn't that involved with it as I ordinarily would have been. Yeah, it was terrible. It was, it was terrible. They boycotted the stores and that type of thing.

SHAE COREY: They did what to the stores?

FRANCES JONES: They didn't buy anything, the black people didn't buy anything in downtown Birmingham.


SHAE COREY: Oh, okay.

FRANCES JONES: They, they you know Montgomery did that whole bus thing like that, yeah. But they stopped. Just to me, it seemed so unnecessary. To have to go through that. You know, it just, you know.

SHAE COREY: Were a lot of people from Rosedale involved, in those movements?

FRANCES JONES: Yeah, they had, they had some of the kids from the school would, you know go down and march, you know stuff like that. But like I said, I wasn't, I didn’t, I wasn't involved with it. Because I would think my son was, he was born in ‘61, I think that was, I think I was pregnant when most of that, when most of it was going on.

SHAE COREY: Well those are all my questions. Do you have any other questions?

ANNALISE DEVRIES: I don't think so, not right now.

FRANCES JONES: I wish we had had some pictures of Rosedale, so you could see what it was like, you know? Because a lot of these vacant lots were houses. You know, all kinds of stuff. And all the way down this street, you know, if I walk to the end of the street I'd be at the Board of Education.


FRANCES JONES: Uh-huh, I’d be at the Board of Education parking lot. But there was a road you could walk, that's how we came back and forth to school. But nobody has used it so, and the houses were down there. So once the houses, people moved out of them, that the weeds just took over and now nobody actually uses it anymore. And there was a bridge you could drive across—


FRANCES JONES: Mhm, but then they tore that down, you know instead of repairing it for you to drive again, they just repaired it for walking it wasn't for driving.

SHAE COREY: Do you remember the streetcar?


SHAE COREY: Did you ride it?


SHAE COREY: What? I still like can't imagine a street car being up here.

FRANCES JONES: Yeah, the streetcar used to this road, if you go down this road, the streetcar was right there and you know where the uh, I cannot think of what is down there now, there was a vegetable place right down there by the car, you know what I'm talking about it's, I’m trying to think of what’s down there, I haven't been going anywhere in so long, it's just before you get down to the light, you know the light just down there when you're coming down the hill, the streetcar came down that road, right in front of Barbara's house.


FRANCES JONES: The streetcar went right, directly in front of Barbara's house, and down Central Avenue and turned and went down Oxmoor Road and turned and went down Edgewood, isn't that Edgewood?

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Yeah and Broadway, right? Because they renovated the road on Broadway and uncovered the track.

FRANCES JONES: Oh yeah, that little track, yeah, remembrance, I guess.


FRANCES JONES: Yup. But yeah, we used to catch that streetcar and then they had the trolley cars, after the street cars, they had trolley cars.


FRANCES JONES: They were like a bus except they had a wire.

SHAE COREY: Oh, okay.

FRANCES JONES: The trolley thing they went on.

SHAE COREY: Gotcha. And do you remember what spring park looked like before they like made the pool?

FRANCES JONES: Uh, yeah it was a park. But they called it Spring Park, the neighborhood men made it a park and they called it spring park because there are natural springs. So, when they put that swimming pool there, that was, they put it in the wrong place because of those natural springs and they couldn't get that water, keep that water from leaking so that's when they closed the pool down, and yeah.

SHAE COREY: Okay. So, did you ever go swimming in the natural springs before they put the pool in or was it like shallow?

FRANCES JONES: No, it was almost like a ditch, but you could tell it was natural springs because the water, it would never get dry it was always wet, like the house that I've got, I had down there, we had to have had a spring up under there because it was never dry. My children had to play mostly on the backside of the yard because you couldn't play on the front part, because it was constantly, anybody could come in and we had a man who used to come dig up worms, because it was so moist all the time, always moist and that was why they called it Spring Park.

SHAE COREY: Because I know--

FRANCES JONES: It was a park that, it was the Rosedale area, when the men, when they built Rosedale they worked together, now there were, my yard has a pecan tree in it, the house next door has a magnolia tree, the house next to that has a pecan tree, so it's like when they built it, every other house has one or the other.


FRANCES JONES: Yeah, so it's almost like they planned it that, that way, like they got together and planned it. To do it like that.

SHAE COREY: Because I know Miss Pope was telling me that they used to have baptisms in Spring Park.


SHAE COREY: Miss Pope told me that they used to have baptisms, in Spring Park?

FRANCES JONES: yeah, oh they did. You know she knows more about it because she went to Baptist church and I didn’t, yeah but it used to be deeper than it is now, because my kids go down there and get dig tadpoles and stuff, and that one in there, she used to be a ringleader.


FRANCES JONES: Yeah, they used to go look for tadpoles and then they put the swimming pool there and it worked for a while but after it was just so expensive, I guess they just decided not to do it. But I can't think about, my daughter had the family thing for Homewood Park, but I can't go, because I'm not immediate family—now I'm her mother? I'm like, what do they—I don't get it. I have to pay more, I have to have an extra pass, or I can't go.

SHAE COREY: Interesting.

FRANCES JONES: But I haven’t had time to do none of that stuff now, but now that I will I'll just have to try to get involved in something.

SHAE COREY: Well, is there anything else that you would like to share about Rosedale?

FRANCES JONES: Well, I can’t think of anything. I probably will when you leave.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, I can always come back.



FRANCES JONES: Well, I think that's pretty much, that was pretty much it, yeah. It was fun times, you know. Because I, I did crazy stuff too because my dad used to pick me up and bring me up the hill. We would get off of the streetcar down here, and he would bring me up the hill because I would pretend, I was asleep, and he'd have to bring me up the street. So, one day I just winked my eyes at my mom, you know, but that was the end of my ride up the hill!


SHAE COREY: He didn't pick you up anymore?

FRANCES JONES: I had to walk from then on, because my mom gave me away. Yeah. When I think about the things that— (Telephone rings) What in the world? I think about the things I did. I'll have to call you back, bye. All the crazy stuff, I used to do was funny. You know you get in to so much stuff when you have nothing else to do with yourself, you have to find something mischievous to get into. My grandmother had, she got up early in the morning, you get up early you are wondering where she was, she was across the street, in the field and she'd have peanuts and potatoes in the backyard we had a plum tree, apple tree, pear tree, she even had a grape vine.

SHAE COREY: Oh, my goodness.

FRANCES JONES: Yup. We didn't have to buy none of that stuff from the store, and the peaches and I mean all that, that backyard, that big plum tree yellow plums. My cousin, we would sit, my grandmother would be sitting on the front porch and my cousin, one of us—we'd take turns, and we would sit out there and try to carry on conversation with her and keep her busy while we climb down the hill and go through the alley here and try to get some plums, pull some plums off, because she didn't want you to get them off the tree, you had to wait until they fall on the ground, so we were trying to keep her company, so she wouldn't see it and we'd go pull some off the branches, but that never worked either—I think she was kind of on to us.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, she knew what you were doing.


FRANCES JONES: Uh-huh! She was a, she was a lady, funny lady she was. I mean, (unclear), she never when she got sick, she was just, they said she was just from old age the marrow in her bones had dried up he said, and the last words she said before she died was, "Is that Laura?" Her daughter had come in because she knew she was sick, and she said uh, because I had gone to work, and they said she wanted to know, is that, was that Laura. She took another breath and died. Mhm. She was a strong lady, she was a strong lady. Drank her sweet water. She drank water all day, but she had to put sugar in it. That's the way she drank her water, with a little sugar in it. And you had to get it right, so you, you had to know how to do it because she'd say "Ah, go in there and get me, go get me some sweet water." And when she, she loved watermelons. She would buy like, the watermelon man used to come around and she would buy like maybe four watermelons, so that's one for her and one for everybody else, and she ate all that watermelon by herself and everybody else got to share a watermelon.


FRANCES JONES: She was a mess, but you know, being that family atmosphere like that, it was a good thing because you had the closeness too, it was a good thing. Yup, yup. And I'm thankful for it. Mm. I'm sipping on this orange juice because my lips get, it's almost like I never had chapped lips but I'm imagining it's like having chapped lips, it gets numb and it's just like you know my feet and my—it's only on my left side but it feels like you know, when you go to sleep, your feet go to sleep, that's how it feels. So, I have to try to keep something to keep me from being too dry. I wouldn't wish that on anybody. It isn’t no fun thing.

ANNALISE DEVRIES: You seem to be doing really well.


ANNALISE DEVRIES: You seem to be doing well.


FRANCES JONES: Well, I'm pushing myself a little more than maybe I should, you know but I refuse to lay in the bed and just lay down, I'm not going to do that. But, for the, on the weekend, on the fourth of July, I was so blurry I didn't, I had gone to, we had the reunion and when we finished with the reunion, and I cooked for the reunion, did you come to the reunion?


FRANCES JONES: Because Barbara and I cooked. Did all the cooking, I, then after that we had one of our church members had cancer and he was going to the cancer treatments in Georgia and when he had his last treatment, his daughter and son got together and the church, we took the church bus, as many people that wanted to go we got on the bus, some people drove and we got on the bus, when he came out, you know when they have their last treatment, they go out and they ring a bell, so when he came out to ring the bell, we were all in there.


FRANCES JONES: So it was a fun, you know it was a fun thing and everything but then I did that right after the reunion and after that the fourth of July came up and I went out on the deck with that and then I came and I was seeing those, you know, they’re not aluminum, I don’t know what you call them but those sheets that you put on the grill you put your meat on them, well you know I took it out in the yard, and I don't get hot but I took it out in the yard and got the broom and kind of just got all the grease off of it and I didn't realize that I probably overheated, but I don't feel, I don't get that hot so I was just, the week after that I was just, I was just crazy. And I said you just need to stop. I'm trying to tell myself, but I felt like I could do it I was trying to tell myself, well you always cold so I'm out there, I didn’t, I went on the side of the house where the sun wasn't shining, but I don't feel heat, I didn't feel hot I didn't sweat or anything and then I was reading an article in, in and it might have been on the cell phone and it was saying that there is a part of your brains that regulates your body heat and I didn't realize that so I was like oh okay.

SHAE COREY: The brain does a lot of stuff.

FRANCES JONES: Exactly. And that's why I can't understand why we don't get as much information about strokes.


FRANCES JONES: As we, you know as we should, because that's a brain disease. And I mean, all my life it was like even when I was having babies, when I was at the exam they were like "Did you know you have an abnormal heart beat?" And I was like, “Well yeah, that's what I've been told.” Every time I went to the doctor, they would say it, but nobody said you need to go to a heart doctor and get this checked, nobody ever—so I'm thinking oh I've got an abnormal heart beat but it's alright. And when I had the stroke, then they said, “Oh you know when your heart when it beats four times and then it stops, when it stops and your blood's just sitting there, then it forms the blood clots.” So, I'm like okay, thank you very much. You know? So, you know, when people tell you something like that, I tell everybody now, when people tell you something like that to you, you need to go check it for yourself. If you're thinking that your doctor will, but then you're realizing that he's got so many patients that I mean he's not. He's not a miracle worker, he can't remember all the stuff that everybody needs, so you just kind of have to check it for yourself, because I should have, I should have. So many people saying that but I'm just thinking when they say that, okay, it's going to be alright. And then when I had the stroke, I didn't know what symptoms was. I had no idea, just got up one morning, went to bed and I got up the next morning and it was like, I feel funny walking but I still didn't, that was during my granddaughter was up here celebrating my daughter's birthday and I felt a little off, but not really that bad, and I think it was on a Saturday or Sunday I got up and I was feeling like when I walk, I felt like I was going to black out in pain, and my daughter say, “You want me to call the paramedics?” and I say "Oh, if you want to." And then when I went to the hospital and they did that little brain thing, she said, “Oh you didn't have a stroke,” and my doctor was on vacation and out of town and when he came back, he said we going to go and get you a cat scan?


FRANCES JONES: MRI, it wasn't a—I can't remember anyway he said that’s going to show everything, and then that's when they found out that I did have a stroke. So, my stroke had gone untreated for maybe a couple of weeks. But I feel blessed that I'm not dragging anything, that I don't have a speech problem or, you know...

ANNALISE DEVRIES: Yeah, yeah. Right.

FRANCES JONES: I feel blessed, really blessed for that. Sometimes I get confused on what I've done, I put stuff down, I put stuff down and I'm like "Where did I put it?" and sometimes it might be right there. You know, and it was there but for some reason I couldn't focus on it. You know, but.

SHAE COREY: If it makes you feel better, that happens to me too.


SHAE COREY: I lose stuff all the time, I have no idea where it is.


FRANCES JONES: Well, you know what I did some time? My son, they had Mr. Lee's store was on the other side of the highway, and they had a mailbox sitting right there. So, I was going to pick up my husband from work, so I had all the children in the car. And by the light being red, I told Ronald, would you run and jump out put this letter in the mailbox, and then, uh you know well the light changed. Well, when the light changed, I pulled on out.


FRANCES JONES: There was a service station right up there on the hill, I was going to the service station to get the gas, and I heard something behind me, I had the windows down, (breathing noises), he done run up to the car! He came from down there, from up that little hill, you know it's a slight hill, and I forgot my child! I said, “Well, at least we in Homewood, he knew where he lived.” I forgot, now I said that's bad when you're that forgetful.


SHAE COREY: Forgets a kid.

FRANCES JONES: And I think Ronald was maybe 10 years old. I don't know, somewhere in there.

SHAE COREY: Well do you mind if I take a picture of this?

FRANCES JONES: Oh no, you're welcome to!

SHAE COREY: Alright, I'll just turn this off.


1 hour 15 minutes

OHMS Object

[no text]

OHMS Object Text

[no text]

Interview Keyword

[no text]

Sort Priority

[no text]


“Frances Jones Interview,” The Rosedale Memory Project, accessed June 25, 2024,


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>