Profile: Dean Jones (aka "Grandpa Jones")

Dean Jones is supposedly retired. He’s one of those cool people, though, who won’t ever really retire.

He was in the military for a little while and then worked as a photographer and teacher through his “normal” career. When he retired, he moved to Kentucky and continued his hobby of building houses. He started out doing most of the building himself but later hired out more and more. Eventually, he was developing entire neighborhoods and office plazas.

I’d say he’s a “worthwhile citizen.”

How I met Dean Jones

Based on the number of people around when I was born, you’d think I was some super special occasion. Whew.

Anyway, we met shortly after I was born, and as a result he’s been Grandpa Jones ever since.

Who Dean Jones is

  • Housing and office developer/contractor
  • GraMelissa’s husband
  • My dad’s dad… my grandpa

What Dean Jones likes

  • Horses
  • Building houses/offices/anything
  • His mustache (GraMelissa thinks he was born with it)

One fact about Dean Jones

After years of talking about it, he finally got a tattoo last year. It’s a snake tearing out of the skin under his right arm. The idea, of course, was that he could ride his motorcycle shirtless with his hands up on the handlebars, and everyone could see the tattoo on his side.

Now he just needs to get that motorcycle. The miniature donkey he used to own didn’t have enough horsepower, I guess.

[Note to Grandpa: Sorry for ruining your profile with a “horsepower” pun.]

One reason I like Dean Jones

Boys like building. I liked visiting Grandpa’s construction sites and seeing what he was working on. I liked seeing all the new rooms, exploring all the staircases, and of course walking through walls. Combined with my love for drawing, it’s the reason I wanted to be an architect for a while.

Overall, I like that Grandpa brought me along and showed me what he was doing. He once said, “Everyone is a teacher. Some teach you what to do. Others teach you what not to do.” Grandpa taught me to “tag along and see” and “bring along and show.”

One memory I have of Dean Jones

I’m not sure when it started, but Grandpa decided to give his grand kids free money. We call it “The Claw.”

Grandpa has a bowl where he drops all the loose change he gathers throughout the day. Over time, the bowl fills up. When my brothers and sister and I would visit grandpa’s house, he’d let one of us, usually whoever had the biggest hands (me), grab as many coins as we could in one scoop.

We’d put each handful of coins into a separate cup and draw numbers randomly to see who would get each cup. You’d be surprised how much money you can grab in one hand… but also how equally the cups average out.

If the past is any predictor of the future, my wife is evidently going to love thrift stores when she’s a grandmother, and I’m going to do the Claw.

Dean Jones in one word

Builder.

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