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Ponca Native American, Donna Jones Flood, will autograph copies of two of her books, "How to Keep Up with the Joneses" and "Velma: Fleur de Narcisus" on Saturday. She will be at Brace Books and More on North Fourteenth from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
For "Velma: Fleur de Narcisus," Flood uses her Native American name, Jen Nee' Water Woman. She says she was named under the peace pipe, which is considered an honor, by Gramma Grace Little Warrior, and that this name was also the name of Standing Bear's mother.
The author describes the book as "This story of a Native American woman, my mother, tells of a courageous stance in fighting for what she believed was good for her tribe, the Poncas. These pages cover only a small segment of her life, but were a key to many changes that have helped so many.
"At the age when most people were retiring, she stepped into a place of leadership that pushed our society toward a new horizon of gracious living," she continues. "Training for skills gave the youth of her day a bright hope. Two generations later, their educated grandchildren are stepping into positions of servitude for the benefit of humanity."
"How to Keep Up with the Joneses" is a book of true stories which were handed to Flood over the years. She says that some are from memory but others were kept as notes, although scattered and disorganized. A mother and daughter teamed up to save and share these histories of the Jones family. Flood's daughter, Kay Flood Loya, organized, typed, and put the material into the computer so the book could be published.
The book has more than 350 pages of family stories including a chapter titled "Bob Wills" where we learn that Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys played on the porch of "the Old Jones Place in the Osage" in the 1930s "with the oil executives from Continental Oil Company parked in long rows on both sides of the long drive."
There is also the story of the "smoke-off" held in the old homestead years after it was abandoned, as the author describes, "for the purpose of correcting the wrongs that went on here due to prejudice ... . It is something like a blessing of the ground ... . The Native people were very close to a creator, calling him by name: Wah-Kohn-Day, Great Spirit, and they had a willingness to become subject to walking strong and obedient to His laws." Flood says that, "Hopefully, the traditions the Joneses practiced over the years can be passed down to everyone in the way of short stories that are entertaining and informative."
A special feature of "How to Keep Up with the Joneses" is a 40-page section containing family recipes, with names like Bear Chops, Fried Rabbit, Fry Bread and a Seminole recipe for Alligator Tail Steak.
Flood was born in the Indian Hospital at Pawnee. She is of the Ponca, Shawnee, and Cherokee tribes. Her mother's mother, Meka-The-Ing-Gay, was of the Ponca tribe. Her mother's father's grandmother was Mary Kell Canolis Ross, full Cherokee. Flood's father was Scotch-Irish "with a tinge of Cherokee."
Those who would like to have signed copies of either of these books, but are unable to attend on Saturday, may reserve copies by calling the bookstore at 765-5173 or 800-256-5173.
Copyright The Ponca City News
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