All in the family

(by Oldie and Better, 18 February 2002)

Ratings not available

Index by date | Index by author | Index by subject
Get Recommendations
Smoking From All Sides ( Glamor - Pics | Female Celebrity Smoking List )
[ Printer friendly version ]

All in the Family
By Older and Better

It had been almost a year ago that Melody Gaspar gasped as she entered the 
Corvette Restaurant and looked in the direction of the large table Watson 
and Jo Ellen Jones traditionally occupied. The director of the Martin 
Street Church choir was watching as Jo Ellen Jones held up a cigarette. 
Before she could catch her breath Melody saw Jo Ellen take a puff and sent 
a long steam of smoke into the air. 

Melody now has a pack a day smoking habit now that gives taking a deep 
breath a little competition. She coughs a little when she lights up at an 
even larger breakfast table this Saturday morning. Jo Ellen, who still 
sings solo each Sunday for the choir Melody still directs, is lighting her 
sixth cigarette en route to what is usually three packs a day. 

Not quite a year ago at the Corvette, Jo Ellen had just announced to 
several members of her large family that she had decided to return to 
smoking after a 30-year absence. Her announcement on St. Patrick's Day, 
which also happened to be her 51st birthday. It came a day after she 
learned that she and Watson would have their jobs terminated with the 
closing of Slocum Pace Bible College at the end of the school year. 

Shortly after their marriage in June of 1972, Watson took a job as religion 
instructor at SPC. He had served for years as director of religious 
education at the college. After giving birth to her 14th child, Jo Ellen 
had moved into the position of director of media information for the 

Jo Ellen first shocked Ima Clerk when she bought a pack of Winstons that 
morning last March. I guess I know who you buy cigarettes for," Ima said 
last night while taking a deep drag on her Newport 100. Husband John 
couldn't be happier. He and Ima spent the Christmas holidays on a smoky 
cruise to Hawaii. In their 50s, the clerks weren't the youngest couple on 
the cruise, they just acted that way. 

Watson and Jo Ellen Jones are the parents of 15 children, 12 of them girls. 
To meet the entire family is difficult. They are spread into several states 
although most live in Henderson Valley. 

Oldest is Anita, who lives in her hometown and is a bank clerk. Anita Phuff 
and husband Josh celebrated their 12th anniversary that St. Patrick's Day. 
Between them, they have four children: Amy 12 1/2; Charlene 11; and Watson 
Lee II, almost 10; and infant Sarah. Except for the excursion that led to 
a child in her teens, Anita has led the life expected of her in Henderson 
Valley. James has a 15-year old daughter Shiela, who since come to live 
with them. 

Bernice, 27, owns her own accounting firm and still lives in the same 
hometown with her family. Carl Watson, 26, returned later in the spring. He 
took wife Becky home with him. They met and married while he attended the 
seminary in Tennessee. Becky already knew she was pregnant at the time of 
the move. Carl Junior is about six weeks older than James and Anita's 

Becky is rather comfortable at a bank office in Henderson Valley. Anita is 
clerk at the same bankin Henderson Valley. They have so much in common. 

Watson and Jo Ellen have named their children alphabetically, according to 
the order of their birth. For a time, the children came every 14 months. 
The pace slowed toward the end. 

Jo Ellen, who celebrates here 51st birthday today, was 39 when Opal, her 
final child was born on New Year's Day in 1990. While the 14 children 
present at the breakfast last March watched in amazement as their mother 
sent plumes of smoke into the air, they now accept her deep exhales as a 
matter of fact. 

Jo Ellen had smoked in college before meeting Watson. She was 20 and took 
the dare to quit smoke. To Watson the amazement of watching his wife is 
now a treasurer moment. That night, Jo Ellen, already intoxicated on 
alcohol, became intoxicated on Watson. Watson, who still never drinks, was 
intoxicated on Jo Ellen. Thirty years of waiting for his wife to smoke her 
next cigarette was growing more and more uncomfortable for Watson. He grows 
more comfortable daily with his smoking wife. He has even been known to 
return to having a nooner with his still lovely and now smoking wife. 

The list of sisters included Debbie, 25, Last year, she was the news 
director for Radio Station KHSN. This year she is preparing to step into a 
promising reporter's job with CNN. Debbie has raven hair, a face and voice 
made for prime time television and a body built for beauty contests. Her 
pack a day smoking habit seems to compliment her voice and looks. 

Elaine, 23, completed her BBA at the state university in December and was 
had taken over the operation of Watson Jones Insurance, a sideline until 
Elaine got out of college. A smoker also, she shares an office building 
with Becky. Elaine and her Salem 100s often join Bernice, a Marlboro 100s 
smoker on breaks. Neither smoke in their office building. 

Fran, 23, turned out to be the last family member to graduate from Slo 
Pace. Smoking only since the Christmas holidays, she also appeared to be 
the most recent family member to take up smoking. She now attends law 

Gwen, 21, graduates this year from senior college. She hit the campus 
smoking and has been making up for lost time. and Heather, 20, in her 
public university roommate and follows her sister everywhere except the 
bars, or so her parents think. 

Ira Lee Jones, 19, is a freshman at the same college. He still goes with 
Desaud Issaid, called Dee. Dee was high school Valedictorian and a great 
softball player. She is a student and smoker now, doing about a pack a day 
of Marlboro Lights. Like many college coeds, Dee mixes in Black and Mild 
Cigars with her cigarette smoking. The Issaid family, who emigrated from 
Saudia Arabia, owns several convenience stores in Henderson Valley. 
Shortly after 9-11, Dee's mother, Ineide, already an outgoing person, took 
up a liberal cause for Saudia women. By Christmas, Ineide had also taken up 
smoking. She now needs more Salem Lights daily than her daughter smokes 
Marlboro Lights. 

Jell, Jo Ellen's 18-year old namesake, won't be smoking at the Corvette 
today. She's a senior in high school and a good athlete. She hopes to 
repeat as the district champion in the 800 meters. She knows she will have 
a difficult time getting to a higher level as her coach encourages because 
she has been smoking 10 cigarettes a day for about 15 months. In 
appearance, she is a dead-ringer for her mother although far behind her 
mother's smoking pace at the same age. 

Although Watson and Jo Ellen have successfully gained the support of voters 
to convert the Slocum Pace campus into a junior college campus for 
Henderson Valley, Jell will be going to the same senior college Ira 
attends. She hopes to be a sorority sister of the popular Dee. Dee promises 
that will be a lock. 

May Bee, 14, a high school freshman and also rather athletic, started 
smoking at the age of 13, the same age as her mother was when she started 
smoking. She goes by the name of MB. 

Jell remembers her first conversation with MB about their mother's smoking. 

"I thought I was going to die with mom smoking," Jell said as smoke exited 
her mouth and both nostrils. MB turned her head and let the smoke exit 
before speaking. "That's going to make it more difficult for us to do 
without a cigarette," she said. "But look at it this way. With mom smoking, 
we would have to worry about her smelling our breath." 

"That's for sure," MB responded. "She seems to be a heavy smoker right from 
the start." 

"It's not really a start," Jell said. "I know, but it's new to us," was 
MB's reply. 

Luellen, Watson and Jo Ellen's 15 year old, is the oldest girl who does not 
smoke. Like Ira, Kent Joseph, a junior in high school, does not smoke. Kent 
goes with Michelle Gaspar, Melody's daughter. Michelle refuses to join her 
mom, Kent's sister or other friends in smoking. It's a secret she and Kent 

Nancy, 13, was the first to snitch on Jell and MB. As soon as her mother 
started smoking Nancy was there to light her cigarette. Nancy has since 
given up her limited smoking. Opal, the final child and a sixth grader has 
apparently never smoked a cigarette although the opportunities are ample. 

Luellen and Shiela will likely join Jell and MB as runners on the mile 
relay team this spring. Despite their smoking, Jell, followed by MB, are 
still the strongest runners of the quartet. 

Shiela convinced step-sisters Amy and Charlene to stop even occasional 
smoking during Anita's pregnancy. The younger girls have stayed off of 
cigarettes. Her efforts have not been completely successful. Anita tried 
smoking shortly after Sarah was born and quickly rose past a pack a day. 

Anita and James and sister-in-law Becky and Carl went to dinner Friday 
night. After a tasty Bloody Mary, Becky smoked her first cigarette. After a 
delicious dinner, she smoked another. Becky skipped smoking prior to 
breakfast Saturday morning but took one from Anita after breakfast. 

"You smoke, too," Jo Ellen said. "I do now," Becky said as moderate amounts 
of smoke escaped her mouth. Jo Ellen hesitated for a haunting minute. The 
she said, "welcome." 

Index by date | Index by author | Index by subject
Get Recommendations
Smoking From All Sides ( Glamor - Pics | Female Celebrity Smoking List )
[ Printer friendly version ]
Contact webmaster

Processing took 0.01794 seconds