Mrs. Jean’s a great patriot

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jean Jones loves history.

On many occasions, she has taken time to share stories about her family, her ancestors, and the days when she and Fletcher first moved to Andalusia. She feels particularly tied to the newspaper, as in those early days, she soon came to know Mrs. Oscar Dugger, whose husband was the newspaper publisher.

Much of what I know about the Duggers, and about the newspaper’s spirited Ed Dannelly, I know because Mrs. Jean was kind enough to share her memories. When she visits us at The Star-News, she always leaves us smiling.

One of her greatest passions is her work with the Daughters of the American Revolution. Because we love her, we are prompt in our attendance when she calls us to her meeting.

Such was the case this week when the DAR hosted its annual tea for the county’s DAR good citizens. Mrs. Jean opened the meeting by explaining to the students the DAR’s purpose.

“We celebrate our forefathers, who were part of the Revolution,” she said. “They had tough lives.

“The DAR looks back on our history. But we are pleased to have you with us today because you represent our future.

“We perpetuate the memory and spirit of all the men and women who achieved the American Independence,” she said. “ Their spirit has continued throughout our history.”

And then she said something I didn’t really expect to hear in a group that prides itself upon being the first Americans.

“Our ancestors happened to be able to get here early and be a part of creating our nation,” she said. “But except for the American Indians, all of our ancestors came from somewhere else. We are unique in the history of the world for that.”

In other words, we are all descended from immigrants, so don’t you feel one bit bad if your people didn’t fight in the Revolutionary War.

“Our spirit of democracy has continued through generations of offspring who have carried that spirit,” she said.

I thought perhaps the students there had never before heard the story of America so proudly told.

Mrs. Jean has stepped down as regent of the group, after many years of service. Before the tea was over, she was presented a dozen roses – something she said only ever happened before after the births of her three children.

“I feel like I’ve had a baby,” she laughed.

Brenda Gouge now leads the group, and already is planning a DAR Fourth of July parade in Andalusia.

“We hope it will be a neighborhood type of parade, with everything from vehicles and floats and politicians and local celebrities to children who will participate,” she said.

It sounds like fun. Kudos to these ladies for keeping that spirit alive.