ELIJAH JONES is a Hattiesburg native and graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi. He lived in Los Angeles for 12 years, where he worked as manager for fitness expert Richard Simmons. From Hattiesburg, he was a writer for Simmons’ website. Now in a state of semi-retirement, Elijah spends part of his free time writing a bi-weekly column for ThePineBeltNEWS.
What is your idea of happiness?
Being with friends I love.
What is your greatest fear?
Driving over really tall bridges.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My lack of patience.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Prejudgment of others.
What is your most prized possession?
My hand-carved statue of the Virgin Mary.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Architect, to design skyscrapers.
What is your favorite quality in a woman?
For her to be as kind, loving and fair as my Mother.
What is your favorite quality in a man?
Compassion and acceptance of others, no matter who they are.
What do you most value in your friends?
Love, trust, loyalty, in that order.
What is your idea of misery?
Being stuck in an airport due to a delayed flight.
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Those friends who’ve stuck with me in life the longest.
What was the worst day of your life?
The day I lost my Mother, followed closely by losing my favorite cousin, Douglas.
What was the happiest day of your life?
When I heard Johnny Olsen shout, “Elijah Jones, come on down!” on the Price is Right.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
No one ever believes that I’m actually a very shy person (It’s true, I am).
What do you like about living in the Hattiesburg (Pine Belt) area?
Showing friends, visiting for the first time, around the Pine Belt. Always fun!
How would you like to die?
Peacefully in my sleep, after eating a bag of malted milk balls from Twin Forks.
What is your greatest regret?
Not seeing the giant redwoods when I lived so near them in Los Angeles.
What do you hate the most?
Racism and intolerance.
What is your present state of mind?
If you could have dinner with anyone - dead or alive - who would it be?
Former President Barrack Obama. (Dessert with Judge Judy).
What words would people use to describe you?
As the guy who loves everybody and loves to make people laugh.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Meacham, James Patterson, Mark Twain (from my childhood).
What is your motto?
Be a friend to every stranger I meet.
What would you eat for your last meal?
Fried Foods Frenzy – ground mullet, Piggly Wiggly fried chicken with jalapeno peppers from Church’s. Coleslaw from Strick’s. Mahogany Bar French fries and a whole Cotton Blues cheesecake for dessert.