By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
With a smile on his face and a greeting for customers entering Bonita Lakes Mall, Curtis Jones happily rings a bell at the Salvation Army donations kettle.
Jones, 69, said he began working at an early age for Carl Smith in Zero.
"I plowed that mule from 9 to 19," Jones said.
Jones has been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army for four years.
"You've got people out there who can't help themselves," Jones said. "The Salvation Army will help you. They'll give you food, they'll give you clothes. If your house burns they'll give you furniture. The Salvation Army has good people."
He likes working and going to church. Jones said he still enjoys gardening and working with Smith, who raises all kinds of greens this time of year.
"I was raised up on the farm," Jones said. "We used to do 500 dozen roasting ears a day. We used to start out in the morning at 4 o'clock and it would be 1 o'clock before we got through delivering."
Jones said they would deliver the vegetables to area grocery stores.
Jones has four children, 30 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Asked what he considers the secret to happiness, Jones didn't hesitate to answer.
"The good Lord, Jesus Christ," Jones said. "Seriously, that's the secret to happiness."