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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
The Collins - Bicycle Shop, Perry

Bicycle Shop, PerryBicycle Shop, Perry, Oklahoma 1896-97 (?), Owned by Joseph Hubbard Jones Bellzona, Gertrude standing in front of her, Joe to the far right.

Hot dusty periods in Oklahoma history made the use of horses for transportation something of a problem and, no doubt, Joe was thinking of this with the desire to introduce bicycles. He loved the English racing bikes with their gears and thin wheels allowing for speed and long distance travel. Years later for his grandchildren Joe easily put parts of bicycles together to keep the children supplied with mobility. This was a necessary element for a success which was a part of the Jones culture as far back as to their Irish roots and the blooded racehorses of Ireland. The business effort failed. Joe and Bell left Perry. They then moved to the panhandle of the state. Thus, Joe gave up the land he had won in the "Cherokee Strip," at Marshall, Oklahoma.

This is one story told about the land run, "Up ahead I caught sight of an Indian family. They were standing by a fire, outdoors, where a large granite coffee pot was being used to serve the tired, thirsty men who were rushing by in what seemed to them a panic. As the rider approached, the Indian man standing there could speak no English except to say "get off, eat-" The Indian family offered water, coffee and the light fluffy pieces of bread cooked in the kettles of hot fat.

Years later a native aunt, Creth or Annie, told the same story from the Indian side to Lizzie. She said, "We didn't know what was the matter. We thought there was something the men were running from. It frightened us, but we didn't know what else to do but to try to give them some food."



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