DESCRIPTIONS by Cecelia Jones and Matthew Gertken
Home page description:
The home page of my MyStory is split into two sides, the left side being a toolbar and an up-close image of my mother’s horse, Sooner. She is a palomino mare, which is a blonde-colored female horse.
The main focus of the picture is Sooner’s eye, which is one of the most telling aspects of a horse’s appearance. A horse’s eye is often phrased as the “window to the soul.” Sooner has a kind, honest eye that is bright, but not flighty. She looks like a patient, but caring animal. Her eye is welcoming but not obnoxiously present.
The toolbar is vertical on the far-left side of the home page and the tabs are “Home,” “Emblem,” “Community,” “Family,” “Career,” and “Entertainment.” On the right side, on three lines in black ink is written “Cecelia Jones, MyStory” with an image of my brand, which is also my Emblem. My brand includes the letters “C” and “J.” The J is positioned under the C, stemming from it. The J functions like a rocker from a rocking chair, and a thin curved line under the J seems to suggest movement. Coming off of the top right of the “J” is an angel wing.
Emblem section description:
The Emblem section is a video that begins with a title slide reading “My Emblem.” The second scene shows me standing in my horse pasture at home in Ahoskie, North Carolina. I have long blonde hair that is blowing in the wind, and am wearing a white t-shirt. The field is brown, a row of pine trees stand in the background, with taller trees behind them, and the sky is blue with a few white clouds.
The scene changes to a few pictures taken at the horse farm at which I stand. The first picture shows a side view of two brown horses and one black horse with a white stripe on its head. The second picture shows a brown horse standing in its stable, looking straight at the viewer, also with a white stripe down its head. The third and fourth pictures show me standing next to two brown horses. All of the pictures were taken in the very field where I stand in the video.
The scene changes back to me speaking to the camera in the field. The scene changes back to a slideshow of pictures of me with my horses through the years. In the first I am a little girl wearing a orange-red sweater and a rider’s helmet. In the second I am still a little girl, wearing white and riding a full-size horse. The third picture shows two riders on horseback from far away, with pine trees and telephone poles in the background. Text fades in and out of the pictures that read, “My passion for horses has Oklahoman origins.” The camera pans back to me speaking in the field.
More pictures fill the screen, starting with a grainy photo specifically showing the Rocking J from my emblem. Text floats across the screen saying, “All livestock carried the Rocking J brand. Vacations and summers were spent at Rocking J.” The next image shows a broad rolling landscape of green fields, full of leafy trees, with a red metal building and a dirt road and telephone pole in the foreground. Pictures filling the screen were taken at Rocking J ranch in Oklahoma. The next picture shows a one-story brick house, with a green lawn and sprawling trees with thick, dark branches. The next picture shows me and a family member wearing blue jeans and white t-shirts and saddling up a white horse, with the red building and green landscape in the background. The next pictures show a brown horse bending down its neck, next to the dirt road; a white-headed steer with horns swishing its tail next to a green hedge; a black “pumpjack,” a large metal pump that is the above-ground part of an oil well; a black and white cow grazing in green grass, with the red building in the background; and a dark-colored calf standing by a slab of concrete and an old tractor tire spray-painted white.
Now the camera cuts back to me standing in the field speaking. A grainy picture of my brand fills the screen; it is a white brand on a dark gray background. Text floats over the brand and reads, “The original brand is still recognizable but my brand and emblem has been further shaped by my own life experiences.”
I come back on the screen in the field and speak to the camera. It pans to a blank, black screen that reads, “My brand is a passion, talent, and love that takes flight with the help of my guardian angel. To my mother, you always liked me to sing.”
The camera pans back to me standing in the field and I begin to sing our favorite song, Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight.” At the beginning of the second verse, a slideshow of my mother and I through the years shows a series of photos. The first is my mom, a young woman with a broad smile, with brown hair and a black shirt. The second shows her again with a big smile, this time with me when I was a young child hanging on her back, arms wrapped around her neck. The third shows my mother and I with our arms around each other — this time I’m grown up, she is older, and we are both wearing yellow plaid shirts and white cowgirl hats. Then the screen goes black, and the following words, in white text, slowly float across the scene, “The founders of Rocking J are gone.” Then these words alone on the screen, “My mom is gone.” The background picture shows the original rocking J brand and the words: “but a form of Rocking J is still running, flying.” Now my new brand appears: the C with the rocking J attached to the bottom and a wing expanding to the right from the point where the C and J connect. The screen again goes black, and then come white words, larger now, scrolling more quickly, and centered: “Mom’s death inspired new life.” Just as quickly, the words fade off and we see a blank black screen, and then smaller, less bold text reads: “In April 2010, mom’s horse gave birth to a filly.” The close-up picture of Sooner reappears, with his big bright eye gleaming — this picture is familiar from the Home page. Then comes large, bold text: “A filly named Proud Mari.” A picture shows big Sooner and young little Proud Mari trotting together in unison. The text says, “My emblem and brand is permanent but gains meaning with every passing moment.”
Pictures of my life after my mom’s death start to fill the screen. The first is a black-and-white professional photograph of my face smiling in front of a brick background. The second picture shows me dressed up in a white dress with a white necklace, standing with a young man in a tuxedo to my right and an old man (my father) in a tuxedo to my left, with bright colored flowers in the background — text scrolls across the screen indicating that this photo is from the “NC Debutante Ball.” The next picture shows me, dressed up, standing with another young woman who has a heavily decorated, sparkling white cowgirl hat and orange cowgirl blouse with a white sash that says “Miss South Carolina” — the text indicates that this picture was taken at the “National High School Finals Rodeo, Gillette, Wyoming.” The next picture shows Miss South Carolina and I, in blue jeans and blue shirts, leaning against a white billboard that says “Project Host Soup Kitchen, Hours Sun-Fri 11-12.” The next pictures show me in a bright blue flowing dress, and then in a black sparkling dress, and the text says “Miss Clemson Pageant.” The next picture shows me in the same black dress speaking to a crowd with a microphone. Then a picture shows me smiling in casual dress. Next comes a picture that shows me holding a toddler in my arms, standing in a playground, surrounded by children playing and one child, in the foreground, swinging on a swingset with a big smile on her face — the text says “Clemson Child Development Center.”
Another picture is titled “Clemson University gamedays,” and shows a man in a big, bright orange tiger costume — the team mascot — surrounded by myself and other girls, all wearing orange and cheering for our team. The next picture shows my dad and I, smiling, both wearing dress clothes, and says “Delta Zeta Parents Weekend,” and then says “Honored as Dad of the Year.” This text lingers while the next picture also shows my dad sitting down at Rocking J ranch, wearing a bright red baseball cap and leaning back, while the horses stand in the background. Another picture shows me and my older brother, who is taller than me and whose mouth is wide open in laughter. The next picture shows the tiger mascot again, standing next to me, and says “Singing at the Will to Lead Campaign.” Another picture shows me riding a white horse in a rodeo ground, wearing all blue and a cowgirl hat, the horse galloping around a sign on the ground, and the text says “International Pro Rodeo.” Then a black-and-white photo shows me smiling big, posing next to Proud Mari the horse, with my hands holding her head, and the text says “Cecilia and Proud Mari.”
Lastly, the screen reads, “Always and forever your baby I’ll be.” The image shows Sooner and Proud Mari, mother and daughter, when Proud Mari was very young. Proud Mari is stretching her little head up and kissing Sooner. The video closes with a close-up shot in which the camera pans over my personal rocking J emblem from the bottom up.
White text on black screen reads “My Community” and floats across the screen. The opening image is a picture of the “Welcome to Ahoskie” sign, with two white pillars, surrounded by flowers, and a blue sky and sunshine in the background. Text passes across the screen that reads, “Once upon a time there was a town of about 5,000.” The picture changes to an elevated white water tower, standing way up in the sky, with the words “Ahoskie: The Only One” painted on the sphere-shaped reservoir at the top of the tower. Text: “Those who lived there had a quiet life.” The image shows a front-page of local newspaper, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Text: “and stayed connected not by fancy restaurants.” Another image of the same newspaper, this time with a view of the paper’s subtitle that indicates it has been serving the Roanoke-Chowan community since 1914. “But by the disbursement of the local paper.”
The next image shows an advertisement in the newspaper with a picture of peanuts in piles and in jars, and the words Bertie County Peanuts. Text: “Local advertisements donned its rurality.” The next image shows a section of the newspaper and reads, “Did you know … More people get their news from Roanoke-Chowan publications on a yearly basis than annual visitors to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg!” The next image is fuzzy and grainy black-and-white picture from the newspaper, showing a young lady who looks nervous, sitting next to a man with his arm stretched across her: they appear to be in a vehicle or roller coaster, and the newspaper reads “Unexpected Twists & Turns every year!” Text: “Children celebrated birthdays.” Another picture shows a little girl in overalls posing with one arm up high, and the newspaper reads “Happy Birthday Miyah!” Text: “And at Christmas, all the children wrote to Santa.” The newspaper has a cartoon Santa Claus checking a list with a quill pen, and in a separate article shows a large green dollar bill sign.
Text: “Stories written,” A picture of me as Miss North Carolina Rodeo Queen, and a female announcer for the local news, smiling, in the newspaper. Text: were about people known.” Then a picture of me riding in the rodeo. Then a newspaper clipping with a picture of me, and a headline that says, “Jones competes at world’s largest rodeo.” Text “throughout the community.” The next picture is black and white, showing a side view of me riding my horse in the rodeo while carrying a large American flag. Then another picture in the newspaper shows me in my full cowgirl outfit leaning over a nice old lady who is sitting down, and the paper indicates it was part of a community benefit project. Text: “The publication was widely read.” Now the image shows a computer screen with the results after conducting a search for my name in online version of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Text: “and then the newspaper became electrate.”
Large white text on black screen reads “My Family” and floats across the screen. This section opens with a picture of my family taken right after I was born. I begin narrating our story. A series of pictures of my entire family, including my aunt and uncle, fill the screen. There are pictures of our old house, of my mother holding me as a baby, of my big brother and I as small children playing in our underwear, him with a bow and arrow, and a large cat nearby. Me, as a young child, laughing and smiling, wearing fairy wings. Playing together, dressed up in the outfits mom made us, him as Peter Pan and me as Tinker Bell. The two of us as small babies getting pushed in a two-seat baby carriage. Me with a dark black eye after a bike wreck. My brother and I, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell again, hugging each other, him wearing a bowtie and seersucker suit and me wearing my blue graduation gown. A series of photos follow, with me in my graduation gown surrounded by family members. Then a picture of us hugging each other as adults. Images from our last Christmas together begin to span the screen: my brother with his arms around my mother and I, with two big green Christmas wreaths, and then my mom, dad, brother and I all together.
As I narrate my mother’s passing away, pictures of my mother, in all her beauty, fill the screen. The final image of my mother hits the screen. It is a photo in which she is waving goodbye. The final photo is of my mom with her curly head of hair turned back in a final goodbye to the camera.
White text on black screen reads “My Career” as the letters appear and float across the screen. The film is taken outside of the barn where I work. A pitchfork is waiting outside of my horse’s stall and the film walks to pick it up and begins to shovel the waste out of the stall and into the manure spreader, which looks like a sort of wheelbarrow.
The only image throughout the film is the recording of the horse poop getting shoveled and text floating across the screen that reads, “A pitchfork is a simple invention. Light from outside the stall and green grass beyond appear when the pitchfork dumps the waste into the manure spreader. Text: “For me, it moves horse shit.” The film quickly moves back and forth between the dark stall and the bright outdoors where the manure spreader waits. As the camera moves from one side to the other–following the pitchfork, the text also quickly appears: “Stall cleaning is related to my current career. Sometimes I wish there was a pitchfork for life— to make life more simple and less complicated. If life had a pitchfork, we could eliminate more shit.”
This is the only section that is not a movie on the first page when you enter. Instead it is a still picture of the cover of the film “National Velvet,” with a large brown horse in the foreground turning its head and the actress, Elizabeth Taylor, smiling with her brunette hair flowing out to the side, her cowgirl outfit of yellow and red just visible behind the horse’s big head. A quotation at the bottom of the screen says, “To me, horses and freedom are synonymous.” Directions instruct visitors to click the cover of the film to enter the next page of the site, which is a video formatted like the ones on the pages for the other discourses.
White text on black screen reads “My Entertainment” as the letters appear and float across the screen. Images from the film begin to span the screen. The first image is a shot panning the cover of the film, starting with a close-up of the top of the page and the title of the movie and moving down to the horse’s eye. The next image shows her in a horse stall, holding the horse’s head, its eyes closed but her green eyes wide open and looking at the viewer. Text spans across the screen reading, “Velvet and I both know …”
The next image shows Elizabeth Taylor in a red polka-dot dress with a blue ribbon in her hair, with one hand on her heart, while a boy stands next to her, squinting in the sun, almost scowling at her, wearing a tilted cap and a drab olive green vest, with rolled up sleeves. Text: “what love felt like at an early age. We share the same first love.” The next image is a black-and-white photo of a jockey on top of a horse with her arms wrapped around its broad neck, leaning her head on the horse’s main with a warm smile.
A short clip from the film is shown next. Velvet is wearing her red dress with white lace and white polka dots, and a blue ribbon in her dark hair. She is surrounded by other school girls, and the one on the far right of the screen, standing next to Velvet, dressed in blue, tells the teacher that Velvet is always dreaming. The teacher agrees, and asks Velvet what she dreams about all day. The camera zooms in on Velvet’s face, as she bites her thumb, and finally responds, saying that all she thinks about is horses.
In the next clip, Velvet is walking arm in arm with her older sister.Velvet’s sisters do not understand her love of the animals for it is unexplainable to people outside of that world. Velvet is still wearing her red polka dot dress, and her older sister, who has blond hair and is more mature, has on a light blue dress with a red belt. As they walk down the bustling town road, Velvet pets a horse standing in the street tied to a cart. The older sister puts her hand on her chest when she exclaims that if you feel love in your heart then it will skip a beat. Then a young man on a bicycle rides by and the older sister turns her head to watch him pass. But for both Velvet and myself, we understand the love of horses.
In the next clip from the film, Velvet is standing on a short wooden bridge, and pulling a switch out of a tall plant. The camera angle changes and you can see off in the background a winding dirt road leading to the vast ocean and a beautiful rocky shore. Velvet uses the switch as if she is switching a horse, and skips down the road laughing, as if she is galloping on a horse down the trail toward the sea.
The video then moves to a segment in which I am on top of my mom’s horse, Sooner, walking in my home field in North Carolina. A hilarious picture of one of my competition horses, named Playboy, fills the screen: the picture is up very close to Playboy’s mouth, which is wide open and contorted, in the middle of a yawn, with his huge tongue bulging out and his gigantic teeth and gums jutting forward toward the viewer, wide nostrils flaring, and big, round black eyes shining. Playboy is all geared up with a saddle and from this angle, you can see the bit in his mouth pressing against his lips and tongue. The text says, “As Mrs. Brown says, it’s in our blood.”
The next picture shows Playboy again from this angle, but this time his mouth is closed and he has a more serene expression. The text reads, “My family business, Rocking J Ranch.” The next picture shows a rectangular white sign nailed to a wooden fence, out in the countryside: the sign says “Oklahoma Centennial Mileur Farm, Henry & Lucy Mileur.” The text across the screen reads, “exposed me to horses, my first love.” The next picture shows my brother and I all bundled up in winter jackets, my brother’s army green and mine pink nylon with teal and purple and yellow colors, with big brown-and-white cows grazing behind us. The text says, “before I could walk.”
Pictures of me with my horses through the years, including ones taken at my ranch, at various competitions, the South Carolina barns at which I work, and in North Carolina fill the screen.. The first picture is grainy, I am standing in the corner of a white brick house, wearing a cowgirl hat, a bright red long-sleeved cowgirl shirt, with a bolo tie, a stuffed white horse in my hand, a denim skirt and cowgirl boots. In the next picture I am crossing a body of water on horseback –the horse is so deep that all you can see is its neck, head, and the top of its back, while I have an excited look on my face and am knee-deep in water, hanging onto the horse’s reins. The rest of the picture is filled with water. Also in the water you can see the wake left behind the horse, and our reflections as well as the reflections of some trees and a pole. The next picture shows me smiling big, leaning over the same dark brown horse, having emerged from the water.
The next picture (also shown earlier) shows my mom and I, in bluejeans and white t-shirts, saddling up a white horse on the ranch. However, the next photo shows this scene erupt into wild action as the same white horse rears up on its hind legs, standing straight up in the air, its neck outstretched and pointed toward the sky. The horse in this posture stands probably ten feet tall! A man in a white shirt and blue shorts holds onto the reins and holds one hand on the horse’s front knee, and I am holding up a hand to try to calm the horse down.
The next picture is a repeat from earlier, showing me as a child in a red sweater and riding helmet, smiling from on top of a horse. Next comes another action shot — I’m still a young child, riding on a black horse that is in the process of leaping over a hurdle, while I’m tucked down close to the horse in a true jockey posture, with a gray rider’s coat and a rider’s helmet. The horse’s hind legs are extended in nearly a straight line backward, after launching the horse upward.
Next comes several action shots from the rodeo — I’m full-grown now, in bluejeans and a white t-shirt, and the photograph captured me in the middle of executing a sharp turn on the back of a brown horse in a rodeo. The horse is rounding a big bright blue oil drum, and its eyes are glowing from reflecting the camera lights. The horse is turning so hard it is nearly at a 45 degree angle.
The next picture is similar, but another picture from when I was younger, riding a white horse in a blue suit, and rounding a sharp corner in the middle of a rodeo. The picture after that again shows me, no longer a child, taking a sharp turn on a white horse at the rodeo. The two photographs after that show me on the same white horse, hunkered down and racing as fast as I can go, with the white horse’s mane blowing behind it as it gallops; in the second of these two pictures, I raise my right arm up high.
Then comes a video of my white horse Dina and myself competing at World Champion Barrel Racer Charmayne James’ barrel racing clinic is shown. I am wearing blue, standing next to Dina, grabbing onto the reins and walking around to her left side. The competition starts — Dina and I gallop across the rodeo grounds, to the right from the camera, and execute a sharp right turn around a red barrel. We lurch forward across the grounds to execute a sharp left turn around another red barrel, and then we gallop further away from the camera to the farthest red barrel, where I conduct a hard left and then come racing back, straight toward the screen, gradually slowing down as I complete the course.
Another photo appears showing intense action. I’m smiling, wearing a cowgirl hat, dark jeans and a pink shirt, riding a dark brown horse whose front and hind legs are stretched in opposite directions in full trot, and my right arm is raised high in the air, holding a riding crop or whip, while my left arm holds the reins close to the horse’s head. The next pic shows me pressing my smiling face against that same horse’s head, our eyes at equal level. Another athletic picture shows me racing on that horse, in similar clothes as before, with an expression of deep concentration.
Next, a video fills the screen of me and my horse Ace at an International Professional Rodeo. The video shows empty rodeo grounds, with the camera staring at a gate and an audience watching. The gate opens and Ace and I come bolting out. We make a hard turn at the first red, white and blue barrel, and gallop off in the opposite direction to do it again, and then race off in a third direction, make the turn — at which point you can see the dark blue twilight sky in the background — and then we take off galloping at full speed back toward the gate, and I’m whipping the horse to go as fast as it can.
At the end of the film clip, the announcer says “You betcha… we got a brand new leader in the Cowgirls Barrel Racing. 15.575, make some noise if ya will!” A short clip of video shows horses that I train filling the screen. A light-colored horse walks toward the camera while a dark brown one hangs around behind it, and others graze in the distance. Soon the light-colored one approaches right up to the camera and pushes its mouth and big nostrils right up into the camera lens as I give it a treat. The dark brown horse lingers for a bit, then follows, and I give it a treat, with the camera very close to its nostrils, and then the video shows its dark mane and neck. Finally a more distant sorrel horse comes sauntering over.
The camera turns back to the dark brown one, and shows my hand rubbing its snout. Then the camera lingers on its big eye, blinking, and its ear twitching, while it stands there with me. Finally I step back and the camera pulls away, showing the brown horse in entirety, who then turns and walks off, as do the others, and soon they all start to trot away. The text says, “Competition is fun. Winning is nice, too. Velvet and I get out greatest joy out of our raw love for our horses.”
The music changes and the theme song for National Velvet comes back into play. Pictures of Velvet and her mother and me and my mother fill the screen. The first shows Velvet getting pulled by a rope attached to her bridle, and she is making a humorous face, with her snout all crinkled up like a can and her huge front teeth showing. The next picture, shown earlier, features my mother and I smiling, both wearing yellow cowgirl shirts and white cowgirl hats. The last text that spans the screen is, “We, Velvet and I, kept going and working for our goals with our attentive mothers watching approvingly.” The picture shows the back of Velvet’s head and the face of Velvet’s mother looking directly at her, holding the back of Velvet’s head, with a look of love and pride.
The final images show me, smiling proudly, wearing a red, white and blue shirt with a sash, a white cowgirl hat, white pants, riding a dark brown horse and waving goodbye, while another rider behind me carries a red, white and blue flag. Then the last picture shows Velvet smiling and waving goodbye as she rides a galloping brown horse.