In Memory

Allen M. Jones



 
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09/17/14 03:52 AM #1    

John Love

Allen and I became roommates in 1968.  When we asked to become roommates the First Sergeant initially refused to allow it and told me that we would cause a race riot as a white guy, that's me, and a black guy, thats Allen do not share a room in the Air Force of 1968. I guess that we were not very ordinary friends; I was a short skinny white guy who had grew up in Montgomery Alabama during some of the worse racial tensions of all times and Alan was a taller muscular black guy from Chicago.  I was most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt while Allen wore tailor made three piece suits and looked like he was a model who had just steped off the cover of GQ on his way to an importand event.  I was tired of running Fussa bar row and seeing the very same bar girls that everyone of my friends knew.  Allen, who within a few months of arriving in Japan taught himself to speak very good Japanese, introduced me to Ropungi, Shinjuku, Aoyama and a world that was populated by beautiful Japanese college girls,  Office Ladies - known as OLs in Japan and an unlimited number of  wonderful girls who worked in the tens of thousands of shops in Tokyo.  The most positive thing about these young girls is that so many of them were crazy about dating us American guys.

In 1968 Allen married Fukuko and I married Yukiko. Because Allen's apartment would not be ready for several weeks the four of us became roommates at the appartment that Yukiko and I was renting.  Our babies, John Jr. and Theresako, named for Allen's mother were born within a couple of weeks of each other. Our friendship grew until we felt more like brothers than best friends.

In May 1969 Allen and Fukuko comforted Yukiko and help her to cope with me having to leave PCS to Vietnam. Later in 1969 Allen got out of the USAF and settled with Fukuko and their daughter in Allen's home town of Chicago. Thanksgivings 1969 Yukiko notified me in Vietnam that Allen had died when he was returning home from work and a person high on drugs had crashed into his car. Such a terrible loss of an outstanding young family man full of potential. Allen was the closest friend  I've  had We shared so many great experences as young men in the fascinating country of Japan


09/19/14 06:18 PM #2    

Larry Rice

Having been there from 3/67 to 3/69 I understand the time period and what was viewed as acceptable.

I saw how all the world changed when MLK was assassinated.  I do understand the loss of a friend.

Your life experience moved me.

Sgt. L. Rice

610 Mass


09/23/14 01:07 AM #3    

John Love

Larry, your message brought back to me the memory of the difficult day when MLK was assassinated.  I had worked night shift and gotten to bed about 8:30 AM.  Allen, who was working day shift, had already gone to work when I got back to our room. I had only been asleep for a couple or hours or so when Allen burst into the room crying uncontrollably. He was repeating over and over again "They killed him! They Killed him!  I asked him who had been killed and he finally said "Martin". I still did not understand who he meant. Finally he was able to say "Martin Luther King is dead". I will never forget Allen's terrible sorrow that day and how deeply he was affected by the assassination of MLK. There are a few events which I think I'll never forget, one was the day that President Kennedy was assassinated, when I was 16 years old and in Graphics Arts class at my high school; much later was 9-11-2001,  when I was up early using my computor to check the few stocks that I owned; although I was not personnaly affected by Dr. King's assassination as Allen was I was affected by the terrible hurt inflected upon my roommate and best friend, Allen.

Having been raised, a white boy, in Alabama and exposed to racial hatred on a daily basis, by friends, family members, church leaders, police,  teachers and government leaders such as Gov. George Wallace, I first believed that the segregationist, as they liked to call themselves, (sounds much better than racist doesn't it) were right.  As a young teenager I started to question those belives and fell in with a group of friends who were awaking from that darkness of hate.  Allen Jones and his very personal friendship had such a outstanding impact on me and has continued to guide my life now, more than 45 years later.  Because of my background and the massive difference in the enviroments we were from, our friendship could have failed due to the misunderstandings and misinterpertations, which did sometimes occur. I think that our differences are really what made our friendship so full and gave us the ability to smooth over any bumps.  In the past 45 plus years I have had many  very close friends of my own race and of several other races but the short deep friendship Allen and I shared has been far more important to me and to my human development than any other I've known.


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