Today, we’re talking with Mr. Kristian Jones; the alter ego of Elko’s resident superhero, Captian America. One could usually find Cap dancing away in front of American Title Loans on West Silver St. However, we were able to bring the super soldier in for a conversation and, of course, we had to get the most pressing question out of the way. Captian, what did you think of Chris Evan’s portrayal of you in the latest Avengers movie, “Infinity War?” “Chris Evan’s is awesome. However, before I saw the movie, I heard they killed him off! So, when I finally went in and saw what happens, I…” And we can’t share the rest of that conversation due to spoilers for the film. Sorry!
One big reason why AAT wanted to do an interview with eighteen-year-old Kristian Jones was due to the amazing work ethic this young man consistently shows. If you’ve ever driven by and seen him doing his thing with his sign, then you know what we’re talking about. No matter what time of day it is when you pass by, if Kristian is working, then you can guarantee he is giving his job his all, dancing away with passion on the sidewalk. We’ll get into how Kristian chooses to approach his work in a little bit. First, let’s hear a little bit about Kristian’s superhero origin story. “I was born here in Elko. My family and I have been living in the same Spring Creek house since I was born, pretty much. I went to Sage Elementry; I had quite a bit of friends there. Then I went to middle school, and I think that was the worst; I didn’t have a lot of friends in middle school. I gained a lot of weight in middle school, about two hundred and eight pounds. In high school, I played football my freshman year. I was homeschool my sophomore year, but I went back to Spring Creek High my junior year. I recently graduated this past May; I graduated early. I started my job in September of 2016, almost two years ago. My friend texted me and told me where he was working. I asked if they were hiring. He told me yes, and he would let me have a day. Because, when you’re already working there as a waver, it’s kind of your choice whether or not they hire someone else because you get to pick the hours. So, when I started working, I was only doing it from 9-2 on Saturdays. This was back when we wore the Uncle Sam suit. I remember going in on the first day, putting the costume on and thinking…what in the world am I doing? I went out there and started slow. The first few months you work there, it’s kind of embarrassing. But after that, I said who cares what these people driving by think; I’m going to start listening to good music while I do this and have fun! I love my job. If something were to upset me the day before, I get all my frustrations out there. And, after doing it for almost two years, I’m down to one hundred and fifty-eight pounds; I lost around fifty pounds in just one year. But you go through a lot of headphones and shoes!”
Now, what’s also cool about Kristian, is that not only does he play a hero at his current job, but soon, he’ll be shipping off to serve as a real American hero. Tell us a little about that, Kristian. “I leave for the army on July 2nd. I’m a little nervous but mostly excited. I will be working on Apache helicopters after nine weeks of basic training. My contract is for six years, and I want to reenlist afterward to serve twenty years and retire at 38 years old. And then maybe I’ll do some fugitive recovery or bounty hunter stuff! That’s one of my dream jobs; it looks like fun. My dad is excited, but my mom is terrified!”
Well, thank you for your willingness to serve our country, Kristian. Again, you’re a real hero! Now, I want to circle back to a topic that was brought up at the start of this feature, work ethic. Here at AAT, we believe that whatever someone does, it matters! It may not feel like what you do matters every day, but it does! You never know how, by showing up to work and giving it your best, you can positively impact the life of someone else. And a lot of people see that kind of drive out of you, Kristian, whether they knew your name or not. What is your mindset as your heading to work and preparing to wave a sign for six hours a day? It would so easy to be lackadaisical with that position. “I do the job to make people happy. I see people drive by and they’re smiling and laughing. I don’t know if they’re laughing with me or at me, but they’re smiling and that’s all that matters. When it comes to work, you’re there. You’re doing it. So, why not have fun while you’re doing it? If you just show up and mope around, your day is going to go by so slow! If you think of it as a bad thing, it’s going to be a bad thing. I mean, sometimes people will flick cigarettes at me or flip me off when they drive by; I don’t get that, but I just shrug it off. But, overall, I love the people of this town and I love my job. There was a kid, not too long ago, who had his mom pullover (it was one of the colder days) and he came up and brought me some hot chocolate; that was one the best things that have ever happened at my job! I hope, when people read this, it inspires them to do something they can have fun with. I think people stress a lot, but life is such a short thing; have fun with it before it’s gone!”
Well, thanks for working so hard these last two years, Kristian. You brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces! Kristian’s last day working as the superhero sign waver will be Thursday, June 7th. Kristian will be taking the last few weeks of the month off to have some fun, work on his motorcycle, and prepare to leave for basic training. Let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers, Elko!
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Stay super, Elko!