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July 16, 2005

More recollections of Jack Stone are contained in the following. I'd say he was one of the more interesting adults I knew through our family's City Drug Store on the north side of the square, where a furniture store is now located.

Mr. Stone was a good man, quiet and unassuming, and he helped run Dr. J.W. Francis' office during the Great Depression years. One of the most memorable traits that I associate with Mr. Stone is his pipe. He and Dr. Francis both smoked pipes, packed full of fragrant tobacco. It's one reason I used to smoke a pipe, in addition to a pack of cigarettes each day, but the smoking tobacco never tasted as good as the fragrance of their pipes. Both Dr. Francis and his friend, Jack Stone, are long since gone from this earth, but they left me with many distinctive memories because I knew them when I was at an impressionable age.

Jack Stone was a sort of assistant office girl for Dr. Francis. He liked to hang out at the Doctor's office and he took care of the phone when the regular receptionist was assisting the Doctor with other patients. Our family had an apartment across the hall from Dr. Francis' office. My Mother and Mrs. Francis were close friends, along with Dr. and Mrs. Francis' daughter, Katherine Khoury. When no patients were scheduled, Dr. Francis and Jack might play a game of Chess, or Checkers, or perhaps just listen to the St. Louis Cardinals' baseball game on the radio. Both were big fans of the Cardinals.

Mr. Stone had no visible means of support. I was told that he once owned a clothing store catering to the entire family, but that was before my time and I only knew him because his office was next to our drug store building on the square and he spent a lot of time in Dr. Francis' upstairs office across from our apartment. As a notary, and perhaps a justice of the peace, he earned a few coins a day, but his bankroll was usually pretty slim. The story I heard stated that his department store had been on the northwest corner of the square, about where the First Bank & Trust building is now located.

I never knew Mr. Stone's age. He was a small man, about 5'10", weighing maybe 130 pounds, and silver-haired. Though physically small and slender, to me he was "an old man." Looking back now, I think he probably was only in his early 60s at the time I knew him, but that is just speculation. He was a good story-teller and a listener when that was required. He was even-tempered and quick to provide a kind of cackle or a laugh if someone else told a joke. I had no grandfathers and he took their place in my life. I'm sorry to say I do not remember when he passed away, but I know many people must miss him, as I do, just because he was a nice man.