Claudine Jones

march 2006


shirt within a shirt
pinnacle of the mountain
Jack enters Ennis

Well, I know right off the bat that umpty-ump articles have been written on Brokeback Mountain and that none of us can really do justice either to the story or to the film, but I think that some of what is great about these works is how they jump-start you.

The scenes with Jack's parents got me to remembering my grandpa on my dad's side, Joseph Henry (Birl) Jones, born and bred in the Ozarks.  Not somebody who talked a lot, although he had a garrulous streak if he was comfortable.  Did a bit of amateur theatrics, a little black-face and played the fiddle some. Had a part in a skit once as the mayor of a village with but the one thing to say—repeat as often as deemed funny—asked his name, he'd reply: "Hunis von Hap von Hafis Hengelstenhelstumpkemelpons".

He built his own house and that one worked out well, so he built two more next to it. The picture of him in my head he's standing like a big old bear: arms kind of curved at his sides, head slightly tipped to hear better.  His hands were dry and hard. Unyielding.  He hammered nails in with two or three smart raps—no wasted motion. 

But here's the thing: when I was 14 or so, my granny & grandpa were with us in California for a rare extended visit and I got into an argument with her about how boring I thought my Sunday school was.  She had no idea what all really went on with our 'religious' upbringing, me and my brothers. I guess I thought I was big enough to engage in a debate over church-going, but I was wrong.  She taught the stuff and was a serious woman.  No fly-by-night comment from her granddaughter was going by without challenge. 

Her indignation was of the low flame sort and she was grilling me about my choices with obvious intent to educate me, when grandpa Birl appeared out of nowhere, face livid with anger.  He raged at me about how Jesus had saved him when he came back gassed after the Great War.  He liked to have coughed his innards out day after day, up on the levee with his young son standing there watching, and the doctors told him he was going to die. Prayed to Jesus and those prayers were answered.  No one was going speak the Lord down in front of him. He shuddered from the effort to hold off weeping.

We settled apart when my mother intervened, and the incident was buried. Until now.


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©2006 Claudine Jones
©2006 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Like an orthopedic soprano, Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades. With her co-conspirator Jaz Bonhooley, she also has developed unique sound designs for local venues. As a filmmaker, she is doing the final cut of YOUR EAR IS IN YOUR NOSE, destined for release next year or whenever her long time technical task wizard Animator Sam Worf gets his head out of his latest render.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives




march 2006

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