On January 3, 1963 I spent  the first two hours of the classroom  day of my senior year taking the Ohio State Psychological Test. I had gone to bed early the night before, so I was rested and finished the test early, which gave me time to go back over the questions and to correct a couple that had given me trouble.

A few days later our principal, Garland Keithly, asked me if I knew what my calculated IQ of 132 meant. I said I thought I did. Hard work in chemistry and biology paid off. I was chosen by the University of Missouri Board of Curators as a “Student of High Scholastic Promise”.  I was given the “Bell Telephone Science Award” that year, and selected as first alternate delegate from Missouri to the “West Virginia Centennial Science Camp”. (two were chosen from each state – I was number three from Missouri)

My grandfather who lived in Nevada was S.H. Jones, who worked for Farm and Home Savings and Loan for 33 years in the loan department. He was known as “the loan arranger”. His passion was fishing. Throughout the year he collected brochures from Minnesota fishing resorts and then he would select one to visit in the summer. On the big day, he would pack his 5 hp Johnson boat motor in the trunk and we would depart for the great north at 5am and spend the night in Clarinda, Iowa. (I went on 3 trips with him). Did we ever catch fish!

Well, granddad retired and moved to Siloam Springs, Arkansas to be close to bass fishing on Grand Lake. I have previously outlined how that led to a full-ride scholarship for me to John Brown University, where I met Valo and settled for a career in medicine. I would not have considered Baylor College of Medicine if it weren’t for the son of my biology professor Dr. Irvin Wills who had gone to Baylor and specialized in ophthalmology.

I applied  and was accepted to the medical school of the university of Missouri at Columbia, but actually preferred Baylor and was invited to “24 hours of medical education” there, during which I met the dean of students, attended a grand rounds, and saw my first corpse at Ben Taub Hospital. It was exciting to later be a member of the new class at Baylor (there was a 1 in 15 chance for selection for each applicant, we were told) BTW,  Dean Schofield,  who took pride on that first day in being able to call each and every student by name from memory, made his only mistake when he introduced me as “John Brown from Bob Jones University”.

I never shared my grandfather’s passion for fishing, but was happy to be asked by the Bushwacker Museum’s coordinator Will Tollerton to portray Nevada’s manufacturer of precision fishing reels, William Talbot, in this year’s Deepwood Cemetery Tour. I am also thrilled to look back and see how God uses people and places to arrange our lives for the best. There are many times and many ways that I would have messed up my life on my own. I thank God profusely for his amazing grace in my life! Trust Him with yours.


Dr. J

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