ARIZARD-L ArchivesArchiver > ARIZARD > 2005-12 > 1135386286
From: "Bernie Moore-Knowles" <>
Subject: Mr. Tincup
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 15:04:46 -1000
We will be bringing in the new year of 2006 soon - it always comes around just after we celebrate Christmas. This time of the year seems to always bring such joy to us and for some, rememberances of those that have passed this way once before. Or unfortunately, it happens to be the time that some of our loved ones take their last stance on this earth; as we know it.
This year, my family is losing Mr. Tincup. The doctors are doing their very best to keep Mr. Tincup comfortable - but, none the less - he is losing his battle for this life.
Jess Tincup married my sister in 1960. I was young then and do not remember anything at all about the day that they joined their lives. I know that my parents were not particularly happy about their union - but, they did come to welcome him and for forty-five years, Jess has been a part of my family.
Jess and my sister; Retta were childhood sweethearts. I asked her once what her earliest memory was of her husband and she said, "You know, Joice and I were at the movie theatre in Claremore. And when we came out of the movie, I looked up and saw this kid laying brick across the street and the old doctor's office. And I thought he was the most beautiful man that I had ever seen. I was only fourteen years old and Jess was nineteen, I later found out. He was dark and had all of these muscles and he was Indian, like Mama. I guess he spotted me at the same time, because he quit laying brick, wiped off his hands and came over and introduced himself. He smiled this wide grin and it was then that I saw he had a tooth missing! He had been a fight the night before and he was pretty beat up! But, no matter - I thought he was the most gorgeous man that I had ever seen and knew then, that I was going to marry him. And I did. Mama and Daddy tried to keep us apart for years. !
He was older and Mama didn't like that too much. And well, he was reckless and Daddy didn't like that too much. It took me marrying someone else for a short stint and Jess going off to the Navy during the Korean War. But, by golly in 1960, we went to Inola and got married."
I always referred to my brother-in-law as Mr. Tincup. Have no idea why - it just seemed to fit better than just plain ole Jess. He called me - always - by my childhood nickname; Bunny.
Last time that I saw Mr. Tincup; my sister was ill and before I moved to Hawai'i; I went to Oklahoma, to Claremore - to see my only remaining sister. He welcomed me into their simple frame home..........opening the front screen door; with that "perfect" smile of his - saying, "Come on in, Bunny. Come on in. I guess we'll have dumplings tonight, now." And I'll be, folks - if he didn't have his false tooth out and there was that little gap in the front of his mouth! I had to smile, leave it to Mr. Tincup to make sure his appearance was in tip top shape for Bunny's arrival back "home."
Mr. Tincup did a great deal for me in my lifetime. He never had much money - but, if he had a five dollar bill, he'd give you that and say that he had a job to do tomorrow and there would be more for him later. He was always there for me when I was working my way through undergraduate. He'd give me work on my college breaks; just so it would help a little with next semester's tuition. I can't tell you how many Christmas breaks he and I would be laying brick. I was the apprentice, of course. Laying the mortar and he'd be so fast behind me throwing the bricks up that I wondered if he was going to lay me against the house, mortar and all.
Then of course, it was so cold those days. He would always bring lunch and a thermos of hot coffee and when we had the brick just so high, he would call out, "Bunny, I think it's cigarette high." We were both smokers and that meant it was time for a cigarette break, a mug of steaming coffee and ham sandwiches that Retta had made for us that morning.
But, I can tell you folks that there was one time in my family's life that Mr. Tincup was needed and came through, when not one of us had the heart to pull ourselves together.........
On my fourteenth birthday; April 22nd in 1969 - Teresa Marie Krigbaum died. She was six months shy of her tenth birthday and she was my niece. She was the oldest daughter of my older sister and her husband; Joice and Oscar Krigbaum.
Teresa's death was sudden and we as a family were in total shock. We all lived on the same block, there in Tulsa - on North Sandusky Avenue. My after school days were spent surrounded by my seven nieces. Joice had four girls and Retta had the three - and Teresa was the oldest and really, was just like my sister and not a niece, really.
But, she died suddenly and we all were paralyzed.
Mr. Tincup came to Oscar and said, "Let me tell the children. Let me tell them that Teresa is no longer with us." And he did. I was with him, when he gathered all the girls - six in a row - and told them that the angels had come that night and told him that they needed to take Teresa with them. Teresa was going to be just fine and they needed to know this."
The next thirty minutes, folks - Mr. Tincup spent fielding questions from these little girls. They were all under the age of seven - just little tikes - and with every question that they threw at Mr. Tincup, he answered with a gentleness that I will never forget. He never once shed a tear in front of those girls, folks. Not once.
So, the angels are coming for Mr. Tincup, folks. And if I know him and I think that I do, he is there with open arms. Heaven is making room for a Cherokee; Mr. Jess William Tincup, Jr.
And it will be Christmas, too.
"I have Indian blood in me. I have just enough White blood for you to
question my honesty." ........Will Rogers