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The Great One Has Passed....

  #
Friday morning Warren Jones passed away behind Thomas Hardware.

Age 76, February 25, 2005. Beloved husband of Suzanne (Shobe) Jones. Survived by brother, H. Burton Jones; sons Mark, Michael and Todd; grandchildren Christopher, Calvin, Olivia and Griffin. A tribute will be held Tuesday, March 1, 3:00 p.m. at Bayview Yacht Club.

Detroit, and sailing in general, just lost a great man. I'm sure just about everyone in the community has a story about Warren and he'll be truly missed.

If you would like to share your thoughts or stories about Warren, we would like to publish them to honor this Great and much loved man.


Michael Thomas  editor@h2onotes.com


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My first trip to Thomas Hardware was in 1970s. I needed some white paint for a repair of my 14 ft. Rascal sailing dingy. I'd never purchased anything at a marine hardware store and I was a little surprised at the cost of the paint which Warren had "found" for me. I asked him if he was "sure" of the price since the item wasn't marked. Warren asked me if I wanted him to look it up. I replied affirmatively. Of course you all know that when Warren looked up the price it was a few dollars more. I NEVER asked Warren to look up a price again. There will never be another like Warren. -Ken Brown2/27/2005 11:45:20 AM
argos
I remember the first time I visited Thomas Hardware. I was shocked at the "unique" inventory arrangement and display ! How could anybody make any business sense out this place? Well, I quickly learned that you had to ask Warren about the product or project, otherwise you could spend a week in there and still be confused. I gained a lot from this simple requirement am grateful to Warren for his advice. I have even brought my Eurpoean colleagues to the store who have heard about this place from way over there. He was a true diplomat to sailing and has done more to help beginners as well experienced sailors in a variety of ways. Cheers to the man! - Steven Stoll.2/27/2005 1:18:25 PM
bayonet
I first visited Thomas Hardware when it was located on Lafayette. I bought a pair of knee-high topsider boots. They were heavy. I told Warren "Just like the ocean sailors, eh?' He responded, "Actually, we sell more to the guys cleaning out the elephant cage at the Belle Isle Zoo."2/27/2005 6:23:48 PM
name not provided
Warren knew exactly where every item was. Many times I'd ask for some strange thing and he'd say, "Fourth row, near back, or two thirds down on left, top or second shelf from top". And there I would find the item. He was amazing, extremely helpful, never wasted a moment, and ready to answer any question when ever you could get his attention. He definitely was one of a kind. A true "gem"! Don Brann2/27/2005 6:52:52 PM
name not provided
My first trip to Thomas was memorable and more unnerving than most job interviews. I started racing sailboats in 1994, in the C&C 35 class out of BYC. I fell in love with the sailing. I was a sponge taking in all that I could about the sport, everything from how to sand bottoms, to the right bottom paint, what all the hardware and sails were called, to lubing winches. It was the winches that spawned an idea. With grandiose dreams, my friend, Sarah and I started a small business cleaning and lubing winches, Winch Wenches. As we were developing our plan, several people told us that Warren could help get us business. They must have been laughing, and wishing they were flies on the wall for our meeting. We went to Thomas with the expectation of asking to hang a sign advertising our new business. Of course, Warren wanted to know what two twenty-something blondes needed. We explained our idea, but Warren was not convinced, not at all, and grumbled at us. For the next 30 minutes or so, he grilled, no make that interrogated us about winches; Barient, Harken, multi-speed, single-speed, coffee grinders, lubricants, de-greasers, replacement parts - pawls, springs, etc. Several times during that 'conversation' I really wanted to leave. In the end, we must have convinced him, he barked, "You know roller furlings? You should start fixing those too!" Winch Wenches didn't last, but our memories of Warren certainly will. He will be missed. My deepest sympathies to all of the Jones families. -Rebecka Knox3/1/2005 10:47:46 AM
rebecka
THIS MAN WAS AN "ICON">>>>HAVE SOOOO MANY MEMORIES DON'T KNOW WHICH TO SHARE>>>>THERE ARE 2 THOUGH: WE WERE OUTFITTING AN ENSIGN IN '66 AND WENT TO SEE THE 'GREAT-ONE' AT THE OLD STORE>>>>>STORE WIDE OPEN NO ONE TO BE FOUND>>>STORE WIDE OPEN>>TILL WIDE OPEN, PHONE A-RINGING, AND NO W/J. AFTER HOLLERING AND LOOKING>>>WE HEARD A FAINT SQUEAL FROM BELOW>>>>W/J WAS IN THE L/L AND GOT PINNED BEHIND SOME STUFF AND COULDN'T GET FREE>>>>WE AGREED TO HELP HIM ONLY IF HE'D PROMISE TO GET US OUTFITTED 'PRONTO'>>>>HE DID!!!!! WE LAUGHED ABOUT THIS FOR MANY YEARS, AND ALWAYS CONSIDERED HIM THE "HISTORIAN" OF THE >>>RAT-PACK! I STILL HOLD THE #6 MEMBERSHIP CARD AT P.Y.S.>>>>WE WANTED W/J TO HAVE THE #1CARD>>>>BUT HE WOULDN'T SHOW UP AT PRIEMS 7AM/SATS., JUST DOWN THE STREET, CAUSE IT MIGHT LOOK BAD FOR HIS "IMAGINE" HA-HA>>>>WELL WE WENT TO LUNCH ONE DAY AND TOOK HIM TO PYS>>>>HE GOT THE #1-A CARD>>>APPROVED BY HUNTER; CLOG; TROST; FITZSIMMONS; AND MYSELF!.....HE TREASURED THE TRICK, AND M/CARD!!!! HIS ECHO WILL BE HEARD FOR ETERNITY..................................................................................^^^^^^^^^^^^ LATIMER W SPINNEY III3/1/2005 12:54:03 PM
antrim
Posted for Big AL Jaroszynski: I was painting my Tehani when Warren stopped his car and said to me, drop your brush, I moved into a new building and it does not have Air Conditioning. It is so hot that the paint is boiling in the cans. Get down there and give us some cool air. I said OK I will look at it and tell you what it will cost. Warren said, never mind the details, get down there and give us AIR. I installed two, three ton air conditionaires and gave Warren air conditioning and a bill. I really do not know what became of the bill but after a year, I just went into his store and helped myself to what I needed for my beautiful Tehani and walk out the door. That is the way we did business for thirty years. Money was never exchanged, I did what he wanted and I took what I needed out of the store. Warren and I installed some flower pots that were thirty feet in the air that were ten feet in diameter and cables the ran to Barient Winches. This was at SUNY university, White Plains, New York. Warren told me to go to St Petersburg, Florida, to prepare his 45 foot sloop ready for the SORC. There is not enough paper in my PC to tell everybody the stuff we did together. Not one dime was ever exchanged. After we finished the job, I just took the stuff out of the store that I needed for my Tehani. Warren Jones and I were personal friends. I am 81, my time is short, I hope I meet up with with Warren whever he ended up. - Big AL Jaroszynski3/2/2005 9:54:49 AM
Erica
Thoughts on Warren Jones to his family from Linda Harmon “Schoonbeck” I moved here ON the day of the riots in 1967… now that was a day to remember for sure. I came from a short line of racing sailors, namely my brother who sailed for Northwestern University & on the West Coast of Michigan. Of course, I always knew Warren from the Grosse Pointe location. Detroit was before my time. It was Bob Niederoest, Commodore of Bayview who first invited me into the “inner sanctum/vortex” that is Thomas Hardware. We belonged to both Crescent & Bayview, as Lightning sailors which means we saw Warren a lot! Most of you know my daughter Evelin, who worked for Warren in the late 80’s. I bought her first sailboat from Warren. Evie was just 5 years old! Actually it was sort of a dingy and spent much of its time stored behind Thomas Hardware. Warren was, even at that time, like an extra father for the little pig-tailed girl. You might wonder how she came to work for him. Naturally, on my many trips to Warren’s, as a customer/salesclerk/butt of wise-cracks, I tried repeatedly to urge him to that he needed to hire my daughter, so he could have someone to straighten this mess up. It was not an easy sale, but he took her on, on a trial basis at first, just to see if she would really work out. She worked for one entire month before he even gave her a nickel! But he eventually took a liking to her and as you all know Thomas Hardware was organized ever since! Just kidding! Actually I think Thomas Hardware organized Evie instead. Warren definitely had his own particular view of things. After my divorce he told me that I was just one of those ‘high maintenance’ types. But still, he was always looking out for me in his own way. There was this one time he asked me to drop off some equipment to these 7 Canadian Sailors on Grosse Ile. Of course, unbeknownst to me, Warren had told these guys I was single. Naturally, I obediently took the bag of equipment to these guys and SURPRISE they took me out for dinner and drinks. Now in Warren’s way of thinking he had achieved a good service. He tried to get me a date while servicing his customers. Well, at least he was thinking of me. What a good friend, indeed. I will never forget him saying …”IF YOU BOUGHT THE BOAT…. I GOTCHA!” And he was right...HE GOT ALL OF US And we’ll never forget him. He is in Valhalla for sure. He will always be alive in our memories…and whenever…wherever sailors meet. 3/2/2005 2:29:36 PM
name not provided
Posted for Dick Thoma: Everyone has Warren Jones stories, and here are two of mine. I started frequenting Thomas Hardware on a regular basis in the early 90s when I purchased a Ranger 26. One day, my wife took our two children (ages 6 and 8 at the time) to the store (prior to its “remodeling”). Upon entering, she told them not to touch anything. Warren (in his low key manner) said “b--- s---, they can touch anything they want”. He also cut a deal that they could keep any loose change if they swept the floor. For the next year or so, every time the kids showed up at Thomas Hardware, they ran for the brooms. Warren got his floor swept (as much as that was possible), and the kids got some pocket change. On another occasion, I managed to bend the boom on the Ranger after a Monday night race at Crescent. I was going out of town on business the next day, but was planning on racing that following Thursday. Desperate, I told Judy to “go see Warren”. She and my daughter walked into the store, with the bent boom under her arm. You can imagine the reception she got from the people that were hanging out there. After the mandatory abuse, Warren took the boom, fixed it, and I was back racing on Thursday. After that, paying “two bucks” for a sheet of sandpaper didn’t matter as much. - Dick Thoma3/3/2005 1:50:05 PM
Erica
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