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Warren Jones: Legendary store owner and sailor


Warren Jones, a cantankerous, blunt-talking sailor who made himself known as much for sailing in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race as he did for building a business that became an institution inside and outside the Detroit sailing community, owned a boat named the Great Whisper.

The moniker for the custom Tartan 42-footer was chosen for its irony; Mr. Jones, its skipper, was far from quiet.

"He talked and talked and talked," said Bill Zemmin, a friend and past commodore at the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, where Mr. Jones was a salty fixture.

His booming voice bounced off the waters of Lake St. Clair and from behind the counter at his Thomas Hardware in Grosse Pointe Farms.   more...


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Todd, your dad's biography was great. I can see his smile now. I can relate to all of the stories of the chaos in his store, but not in his mind. He always seemed to be doing a dozen things at once, but always knew what was going on. He was an early “multitasker” before there was the word. In the early ‘80’s, the customers answered his phones and searched items for each other. I was never sure when I called whether I was speaking to a customer or an employee. Warren was always definitive and acted as though he knew it all…and he did! I would stop by from time to time just to engage him. He was a charming man and his passing will leave a gap in the sailing community. I am happy that Todd was with him in his final moments. My condolences to his family …and to us. Steve Liroff 3/2/2005 1:15:24 AM
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