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Maynos Jones honored by plaques at two locations he frequented

By Kayla Carter
Staff Writer
[email protected]
In the lobbies of Hardee’s and IGA on N. Main Street last week, Maynos Jones was honored by county residents who spoke highly of him through remembrances like — “He was a true gentleman;” “I’ve known Maynos all my life;” and “He will be surely missed.”
Just after the memorial service prayer, Vice-Mayor Glenn Tilson read a proclamation just before plaques were hung in remembrance of Jones on Tuesday and Thursday morning.
The proclamation named June 19 as Maynos Jones Day in the town of Erwin. “We encourage all of our citizens to remember the friendliness and kindness exhibited by Maynos Jones and to follow his excellent example of a good neighbor and community steward,” said Tilson as he read the proclamation.
The selection of the two plaque locations is obvious, said Garland James of the Unicoi County Ministerial Association. “This is where he greeted the people,” he said. “People will either tell you they saw him at Hardee’s or IGA.”
James said he searched for the perfect word to describe Jones just before the memorial.
“This morning as I awakened, the word legend came to mind,” said James. “I got to contemplating as to what is a legend. I came to the conclusion a legend is someone who touches lives of many people as they make their journey. Maynos Jones is certainly one of those persons.”
James said it was Jones’ ability to become friends with anyone that made him a legend. “He never knew a stranger,” James said. “He was kind, polite and a gentleman.” Jones had a running list of people he would ride his bike to visit, James said. “I can name a half a dozen people he did this kind of thing for,” he said.
Local author Ray Knapp said he met Jones at Hardees over breakfast. “I sat down for a little breakfast and Maynos just started talking to me,” he said. “He started to tell me his life story and I just didn’t have time to hear it all. I suppose he was a third of the way through. Then another fellow comes and sits down close to us and was listening in. When I got up to leave, Maynos didn’t miss a beat of his story.”
One of Jones’ favorite items was his bike, James said. “He had bicycle riding down to a science,” he said. “He told me he could get on his bike at Hardee’s, peddle twice and coast into Grace United Methodist Church.”
An adage about bike riding James remembers hearing that Jones said was that “regardless if it was 95 degrees, the air conditioner was always working and if it’s zero degrees, the heater was always working.”
Tilson said that Jones was always wise. “He held a lot of wisdom learned over a lifetime,” he said.