REFORM, AL -Talking to George Jones is a bit like trying to keep one’s hair neat in a windstorm. His conversations are what one might describe as swirling, he is so full of information, ideas and opinions that he moves from topic to topic in such a way that it was hard to follow at times.
I had asked George, who has been a resident of the city for some 20 years how Reform, Alabama got it name.
Soon we were crossing the street to his brother’s silk screen tee shirt store where a computer was located. The store was closed, but George had a key.
My other choice apparently was to go to the Reform post office for information where there is a display about Lorenzo Dow, an itinerant preacher who traveled through Alabama and Mississippi roughly 200 years ago. Word has it Dow stopped off in this small town, found it so much in need of change he told the people they were so out of step with God and he wouldn’t return unless they reformed. At least some of the residents enjoyed his preaching enough to change the name to Reform.
By now George has switched to another topic. With a slight grin he explained the local high school doesn’t have the town name because what parent would want to tell the people their son or daughter had graduated from the Reform School.
During our conversation on a Saturday evening I also learned a few things about his family. George is the youngest of five brothers. They are a very close family. George says their sister, Merle Dean Jones, was the private secretary of actor and Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty. She was murdered and her brother, James Jones, was stabbed. The medics thought he was dead too and covered him with a sheet for the ride to the morgue