~ Silas Johnson Jones ~
September 24, 1921 ~ February 26, 1999

Almost everything you needed to know about my dad could be heard in his laugh;

stern yet yielding, pragmatic and playful, approachable and plain ol’ fun. Silas Johnson Jones (he hated the middle name) would be 91 years old today. He was 77 when he died of sudden cardiac death, walking back from the mailbox at the end of his driveway in Albany, Georgia.  There was no suffering in that moment, he was “dead on the way to the ground” the doctor said, as is the case when oxygen to the heart is cut off. I was grateful that his life ended with him on the move, outside under the big sky where he loved to spend time; hunting, fishing, puttsing around in the garden or yard.

Whatever I know about telling a story I learned from him, a natural master at timing, inflection and all the stuff workshops teach you.

Within our family he was a legend in his own time; the baby uncle because he was the last born in a family of 21. His dad, Ras Jones, married twice, but that’s another story for another time.

Yes, Silas has much in common with my story’s hero, Fletcher Dukes, as you will learn in time, but for today, let these pictures tell a story, and take this quote my dad often repeated:

“Save your hay…
…you might marry a mule one day.”

In his 30s, dapper or what?!

Circa 1960s

With wife, Irene, in school library where she worked. 1980s

Dancing with Irene at my wedding. 1987

He was at a wedding and just liked the car! early 1990s.

1990s. Pond side, river bank, little boat, big boat…he loved all manner of fishing.

Granddaughter Miranda’s birth, San Rafael, CA. August 1994

With my sister Betty: Hoover Damn, Las Vegas, Jan. 8, 1997, the day before the plane crash that took her life. He told me he was pointing at mules on the horizon…

10-month-old Miranda with Grandpapa at his house in Albany, summer 1995. He called her “Cricket”!

Fishing with Miranda (3 years old) in Pineville, North Carolina. Oct 1997

Silas Lane, in Albany, GA. Named for him by his church, click on photo for details.