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Fall Rib Feast helps preserve P.S. Jones High’s legacy

By James and Georgia Smallwood

On what was once a swamp, a trash dump, and a school playground, now a beautiful park named in honor of Peter Simon Jones, the Washington Colored Public School’s longest serving principal, is where the community gathered, wearing masks and practicing social distancing, for a Fall Rib Feast on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 6 a.m.

Just before the sun rose, master grillers and Beaufort County Commissioners Ed Booth and Jerry Langley and Washington Mayor Donald Sadler were busily preparing to grill baby back ribs, while P.S. Jones Alumni Inc. President Anthony Ray Northern and his brother, Johnnie Northern pitched tents and set up tables with assistance from First Vice President James H. Smallwood and friend Andrea Norman.

It was a beautiful, cool morning; the sky was blue with spotty clouds. By 7:30 a.m., tents were up. The four gas grills were fired up and filled with beautifully prepared baby back ribs. Moments later, with music playing, the aroma of grilled baby back ribs permeated the Pecan Grove community and beyond.

P.S. Jones Alumni’s vision for its museum is to preserve and share P.S. Jones High School’s heritage and legacy by advancing the museum and putting it in the forefront with engaging, interactive presentations, exhibitions, and innovative and technological advances to educate and welcome visitors.

With a deep concern for the museum’s current existence and its future use for the community, Third Vice President Eltha Booth suggested sponsoring a Baby Back Rib Feast to generate funds. Booth, along with Renita Elleby, Alice Langley, Delores Moore, Carrie Moore, Joyce Moore and Marie Freeman greeted ticket holders as they arrived, masked and social distanced, to pick up their plates. With a turnout of more than 200 people, the event was a great success.

PS Jones High School Alumni Inc. appreciates each of our sponsors. We thank the following for supporting P.S. Jones Alumni Fall Rib Feast: Beaufort County NAACP, Carolina Avenue 76, Cornerstone Community Base Program, James and Georgia Smallwood, Kingdom Life Community Church, Mark V. L. Gray and Family, Northern Manor, Piedmont Triad Chapter of P.S. Jones Alumni Inc, Spring Garden Missionary Baptist Church, Walter Marvin Corey, William Sykes and Scott Campbell. To everyone who contributed to the success of P.S. Jones Alumni Inc.’s first annual Rib Feast, thank you, and we look forward to fellowshipping with you again next year.