Author Topic: "Homer Jones"  (Read 6428 times)

Offline Editor

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"Homer Jones"
« on: January 06, 2019, 07:31:06 PM »
About 20 years ago, I called City Hall to try to find out what purpose the lane between Clinton Place and Euclid Avenue served. I was referred to someone in the planning office who I had known.  I went to school with his son and daughter.  He gave me the facts, the conjecture, the opinion and the anecdotes which led to a different topic, then another and another. After a half hour or so, I thanked him and we said goodbye.  The next day, I came home to find a copy of Hackensack's "Three Centuries of Prosperity" in my mailbox with a note to call if I had any more questions.

I delved into the book, reading it cover-to-cover.  I drove past the places in the illustrations, trying to match up landmarks.  I was fascinated with the idea of transformation, for better or for worse. I was intrigued by how people could change a landscape over time and how a community could grow. I volunteered to be the city's Municipal Historian when the vacancy opened which ultimately led to full-time employment. By then, my friend was long retired.

The one simple question, and the willingness of someone to answer it, set me off on a mission.  With the internet then expanding in leaps and bounds, but with very little in the way of localized information, I started this website with the goal of repeating, on a larger scale, the simple exchange that took place during that phone call with my friend at City Hall.  After a couple years, he would join the online discussions, imparting what he knew to any one who cared to listen. He contributed hundreds of posts, sometimes funny, sometimes insightful, sometimes both. We emailed often.

He loved this city and never failed to see the "diamond in the rough", constantly chipping away the grit so that others could see it too.  He knew how to read tea-leaves with many of his predictions coming true.  He was a mentor to me. He was there for me when things looked bad. 

You know this person as "Homer Jones" because that's how he wanted it.  If you read the recent obituaries, it won't be hard to figure out.

I will miss him tremendously. Hats off to Homer.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 08:20:23 PM by Editor »

Offline johnny g

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Re: "Homer Jones"
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 07:58:07 AM »
Sad news, RIP Homer  :-\

Offline ericmartindale

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Re: "Homer Jones"
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 06:11:54 PM »
Homer Jones was a tremendous source of information, and he has contributed greatly to the body of knowledge on the history of Hackensack. There's not even a handful of people alive with his level of knowledge on Hackensack. His passing is a huge loss for the rather small historian community.

My first meeting with him was in 1986, and it went very different than the Editors, but the irony is that my meeting was also my firm and instant resolve to get involved with public affairs. Some day I'll tell that story. I will respect the Editor's desire to keep his identity secret. 

Editor, if you are in contact with any surviving family members, perhaps there are documents and maps that could be donated to the City of Hackensack.  I have tons of documents to give when my time comes.  I bet ol Homer has his own stash.

Offline BLeafe

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Re: "Homer Jones"
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 09:41:09 PM »
I'm really gonna miss Ol' Homer too.

I never met the man, but we've had a long relationship on this site, both historical and comedic in nature. We've helped solve a couple of puzzles, but have also driven the Editor crazy with relentless punning games (see some of the below links). We were each other's comedic foil and probably could have taken our act out on the road.,959.msg2983.html#msg2983,1001.msg3210.html#msg3210 (nunsense),1387.msg4387.html#msg4387,1455.msg4555.html#msg4555,1505,1507

(this is an incomplete list)

He was also the only one in my age bracket (I'm two years younger) who understood my ancient rock references and came back with a few of his own, which I appreciated.

We also had an email relationship and, as recently as two months ago, he wrote to tell me about a music photographer in Ireland who has photographed Metallica, among others, and thought I should contact her.

"How the hell do you know about Irish music photographers?"

"I have dual citizenship: American and Irish and read some Irish papers on the web out of curiosity."

Ol' Homer: smart as hell, clever, kind and curious - great traits in my book.

Speaking of books, if any of you editor-types out there are thinking of writing one, you can start here -;u=1606;area=showposts;start=615 - all of his posts. Start at the bottom and work your way backward to the most-recent one.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 09:45:20 PM by BLeafe »
Like music? Like photography? Step into my office: - - - - - - -

Offline Top of the Hill

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Re: "Homer Jones"
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 06:01:10 PM »
Very sad. I did not know Homer but always enjoyed his contributions to this board. Very knowledgeable of the local history, and now I know why.  He will  be missed, from 3000 miles away.