In Memory

Preston Jones

Preston Jones

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03/07/14 05:56 AM #6    

Brooke Whitted

I was a really geeky and shy kid.  Never could summon up the courage to go out with girls til I went to college, then went nuts (after all, it WAS the sixties).  Preston was one of the few, while not a close friend, who was always nice to me, even in earlier grades.  He was a kindhearted person who - looking back - had a feel and an empathy for people who were different.  He never made fun of me; he never looked down his nose at me; he was a kind person who treated me as an equal and valued what I had to say, no matter how goofy or immature, and I have always remembered him for that.  I sincerely hope he had a good run in this life, especially in light of the in memoriam comments about his "bad boy" activities, of which I was never aware.  Rest in peace, Preston.

03/09/14 10:27 PM #7    

William Robb

Preston and I spent a fair amount of time together through high school. He was getting a ride from his dad to HS the 3rrd or 4th day of school freshman year and stopped to pick me up as I was waiting for the # 3 bus.  We rode together many mornings for the next four years.

Your description of Preston captures him.  He didn't say a lot, but when he did it was usually with a note of humor, sometimes tinged with a touch of sarcasm.  We communicated wth shrugs and nods, rolling of eyes, etc and new exactly what message was intended. We did't have to say a lot.

I was with Preston the night of his T-bird accident.  I'll never forget his stoic acceptance of the consequences, no trying to explain his way out, "yep I did it." As you point out, accepting consequences is one thing, changing behavior is another.  I went along on many 'rides' with Preston.

When Louise and I saw the two astericks by his name on the profiles page our hearts sank.  Not having stayed in touch and not knowing what happened to him made it even harder to take. Thanks for refocusing us on remembering Preston and the fun times we had together.

See you in September.


03/10/14 06:43 PM #8    

Patricia (Fatima) Lassar


Do you remember the night Preston and I came to make a surprise visit at Louise's house.

We knew her parent's were not home so Preston decided rather than enter through a door which would have required knocking or ringing the bell, he wanted to find a more unconventional way in. Another opportunity to test his skill at entering a locked building. In other words, sneak in and surprise you both.

The rest is third hand as I remained outside waiting for Preston to open the door after he had found another means of entry. He did find a way in but apparently not silently.

For a kid, you were incredibly brave. When you heard the sounds of someone breaking into the house, instead of hiding in a closet, or dialing 911, you grabbed a baseball bat and went to confront the threat directly.

I'm not sure what happened next but thankfully you didn't swing the bat before you knew the identity of the intruder. I have a mental picture of you calling out, Who goes there?

It didn't seem like a good idea any more. We never considered what you might do if you heard him. With Preston's track record with law enforcement (on land and at sea), he was lucky the police didn't arrive.

03/11/14 06:41 AM #9    

William Robb

Pat, while I don't remember the specifics, the circumstance rings a bell.  The most likely unconventional house entrance  point at 2811 would have been an upstairs window accessed by climbing the rose trellis at the side door to the house.  Leave it to Preston, I would never have braved this approach.

Good thing these soirees have been declassified.  Not sure what Kay & Bill Dietrich's reactions would have been if they new all of our shenanigans, even today.  No, today they would probably have laughed ... but only after conssidering what they'd heard for a few ... silent ... moments.

03/11/14 12:55 PM #10    

Thomas Wardell

Pat, what an exceptional short story on Mr. Jones-I couldn't put it down!  I'm sure Preston and I spoke and I certainly remember his name but it took his photo to bring him back.

It is odd, the story about the Thunderbird, as the only time I was ever truly arrested in high school was with another ETHS alumni, a gentleman by the name of Fred Staib, (sp?).  He too had a habit of "stealing" his father's car, a Thunderbird oddly enough and on the night he and a friend stopped by my place, top down, we three underaged drivers, with not a license between us were pulled over in Wilmette. The car was impounded, our parents had to come to the police station to pick us up and we all three had to go to court.  Our sentences were light, essay's on why we were bad and promises that we would not be bad again.

Hmmm, I had forgotten about all of this-brings a smile to my face though I was sorry to hear about Preston-38, not fair...

03/12/14 02:09 AM #11    

Holly Romans (Green)

What a great story, Pat, about Preston.  He was in my Fifth grade class when I transferred from Oakton School to Lincolnwood.  He was a cool dude even then.  Very handsome.  Loved hearing about your romance as I never knew you were a duo.  Thanks for sharing.  Looking forward to catching up in Evanston even though we live close here in Marin.  Holly Romans Green

03/12/14 01:51 PM #12    

Alison Van Swearingen (Brown)

Pat - Thank you for posting such a wonderful memory of someone who had a place in your life.  Your words must have put a smile on your face and made you laugh.  I did not know Preston nor did I really know you very well.  The quiet ones are always the most interesting people who might leave some of us wondering "was he really like that?"   His passing at such a young age must have been hard for all who knew him.   


03/15/14 10:19 AM #13    

Judith Sheahan (Lindgren)

Hello Patricia, While I do not remember you and Preston, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your essay. Your memories could have been made into a John Hughes movie. I hope Noria has taken advantage of your writing skills and has invited you to be a guest lecturer in her writing class. Thank you for posting this. It reminded me once again that there were so many people in our class that I never got to know during our short time together in high school. What a loss.


04/03/14 04:36 PM #14    

Preston Cook

Pat Fatima Lazar’s remembrances of Preston Jones are wonderful.  She was able to convey Preston in a relationship, as well as in events, experiences and places.  Preston was a quiet and independent guy who was able to move through high school years leading his own life, doing what he wanted to do.  He seems to have remained fairly anonymous.  This was unfortunate.  Preston Jones and I shared a locker for a time.  We also hung around together.

Sharing a locker with Preston cemented a friendship, and also caused several problems for me, as we had the same first name.  One day I was asked to report to the principal’s office. There, I waited for a fate unknown to me.  Of course, I thought the worst.  Being a poor student I thought they would simply ask me to leave school.  Or it could be that I had caused some degree of problems for the school by demanding a permit to drive my car, a 1931 model A four-door, to school every day.  Then again, it may be that I had recently purchased a BSA 650cc motorcycle with high bars (now called ape hangers), drove it to school one day, parked it by Leon Levin’s Harley.  Returning after class, I found my bike chained to a metal fence by Mr. Brown’s auto shop building.  Since I took auto mechanic classes, I walked in and borrowed a bolt cutter and chopped the chain into a dozen pieces, leaving the links in a pile.  Turned out it was Sarge, who had chained my bike and was upset to find his now chopped chain in a pile.  So there I sat, waiting my destiny.  I was escorted into the office of East Hall Principal Edward Curry who asked to explain why I had been cutting entire school days, not just classes.  I had not cut class, let along full days.  I did a lot of irregular and irreverent things, but cutting class was not one of them.  Then I realized Mr. Curry was confusing me with my locker mate.  My insistence led Mr. Curry to realize it was not me, but Preston Jones.  This happened one more time.  So brother Preston, I have great memories of our far too brief friendship and your exploits and daring in high school.  I hope you continued your adventures during your short life.

06/10/14 04:06 AM #15    

Holly Underwood (Bisenius)


I was greatly saddened to see how many of my classmates have passed on!

I remember Preston as a really fun guy - if you knew him personally.....  must have met him thru Fred Staib.  I

  He was very kind and  usually said something funny or made a comment about someone, but it was always kind.  



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