Easy Reader Staff

Keeping up with the Joneses

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by Fran Pullara

 One of the joys of a long life well-lived is retirement, but that word in the classic sense is not in the vocabulary of Jane and Jim Jones of Rancho Palos Verdes. When Jim moved from the East Coast in 1974 to acquire Engineered Industrial Products, Inc., he met and married Jane, who likes to be called Janey. They became business partners as well as life partners. They are most proud of their family of five children, 11 grandchildren and a great grandson.

Janey was born in Los Angeles, and received her B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Arizona. She worked for nine years as a nutrition researcher at UCLA, followed by 10 years as administrative assistant for three world-recognized research professors. Jim was born in Oak Park, Ill., and received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Purdue. He spent seven years as a U.S. Naval Reserve engineering duty officer, building and repairing nuclear submarines. Later he became a sales engineer for The Falk Corporation and was national sales and engineering manager for a Midland-Ross Division in New Jersey before coming to California. Official retirement for both Janey and Jim came in 1998.

That transition, however, is simply a shift in how their time is allocated. Both are remarkably organized people. Now they not only can pursue their interests and hobbies, travel worldwide and visit family more frequently, but they can devote even more time to making their community a better place.

Their beautiful hillside home overlooks the busy San Pedro Harbor and the City of Los Angeles. The rambling structure is filled with antiques accumulated from both of their families, and an extensive music collection, as well as photos and memorabilia of family and the couple’s extensive travels.

Both Janey and Jim have been longtime community activists and volunteers even in pre-retirement years. Among her many passions are books and libraries, which is extremely fortunate for the Palos Verdes community. Jim has a love for historical Dixieland jazz and swing music and keeps a unique musical archive that is accessed by people around the world.

Let’s start with Janey. She was just elected to a two-year term as president of the Peninsula Friends of the Library (PFL), a 1,100-member group whose monthly book sales, membership and fundraising efforts assist the Palos Verdes Library District with special programs. She has served as Membership Chair on the PFL Board for the past year and membership has increased due to the Committee’s strategic planning and outreach.

 Her service to the District began in the 1990s when the new main library was being remodeled. She created the docent training program for the main library, wrote the training manual, and recruited and trained 24 docents in the first year. Simultaneously, she was serving on the Miraleste Library Advisory Committee. She was next elected to the Library Board of Trustees where she served for eight years, three of them as president. During this time she also founded and served as president of the Friends of Friendship Park for six years.

From 1997-2005, Janey also served as treasurer of CALTAC, a state-wide organization for library trustees and commissioners. She continues as a leader/moderator for its Board Effectiveness Training program.

Currently, Janey is the vice president of the Peninsula Symphony and also has served as Chair of Concerts for five years. She is also a member of the Affinity Group, a support group of the Volunteer Center for the South Bay and is a cast member of the Readers Theater of AAUW.

“It is a particular pleasure and honor for me to serve as PFL’s new president,” Janey said. “The Friends work so hard in many different areas to provide the resources to the District for several special programs including the Summer Reading Program, Sunday hours at the Peninsula Center Library, Internet access at all three libraries, the Teen Center, and special purchases of items for the library collections, furnishings and equipment. I look forward to greater growth of PFL so we can increase and perpetuate assistance to the District.”

Janey and other members of the Friends are currently serving on PFL’s 80th Anniversary Committee. On Saturday, Feb. 6, the roof of the library will be transformed into the setting for “Celebrating 80 Magical Years,, commemorating PVLD’s 80 years of service to the Palos Verdes Community. The community is invited to attend.                

Jim is also an avid supporter of the library’s programs, although his own service is more in the area of music and the 18 library-sponsored concerts he has presented. In his own musical group, JJ’s Sunset Syncopators, he plays banjo and guitar, and he also plays in several other Dixieland and swing bands locally and throughout the West.

Since his retirement, Jim has had time to follow his musical interests in several different ways. He formed an organization and a website called YesterTunes Music (www.yestertunes.com) where he shares with musicians and fans worldwide his extensive archival collection. He has more than 15,000 orchestrations, lead sheets and 78-rpm records of turn-of-the-century ragtime, early jazz from the teens, Roaring ‘20s dance tunes, and swing music of World War II.

Jim acquired much of his collection when the late Charles Anderson, a jazz musician based in San Diego who spent 65 years accumulating early American pop sheet music, chose him to carry on his work.

“I don’t know how in the world he did it,” admits Jim. “He never used a computer and he had horrible handwriting. But, after retiring, YesterTunes and Anderson’s collection have given me a whole new career, something I’ll do for the rest of my life.”

Jim is well-known for his performances and reputation as an archivist and lecturer on music of the early 20th century. He recently recommissioned a 1920 Brunswick hand-crank console to play his old 78s which he proudly displays in the living room. His latest gig is emceeing for world famous jazz bands at Cabaret Jazz at the Norris Pavilion.

He is the current president of the American Federation of Jazz Societies and for the past 10 years he has been a reader for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and reads weekly for story times for young readers at the Miraleste Library. Jim spent seven years on the RPV Traffic Committee and is past president of Peninsula Breakfast Club.

It isn’t all work and no play for Janey and Jim, however. She enjoys regular tennis matches, needlework, reading, gardening and both enjoy sailing as members of the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club. Jim can often be seen playing music in local clubs and theaters.

Together they have traveled extensively in the United States and abroad, both cruising and land travel. In their holiday newsletter this year they mention their “big trip,” a return cruise aboard the four-masted Star Flyer, this time in the Society and Tuamotu Islands where they enjoyed sightseeing and snorkeling in the waters of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Both agree, one of the things they like about travel is “the people we meet.”

“The Peninsula Friends of the Library is open to everyone, just as the library is,” Janey concluded. “Friends receive benefits dependent upon the level of their membership. Forms are available in all libraries and on line via the Friends link at www.pvld.org. Memberships, including business memberships, are very important as are all donations. Without donations, we would not have the resources to support the District as we do.”

And if you should decide to attend 80 Magical Years benefiting the library on Feb. 6, you will meet Janey and Jim and many of your friends on the hill. For information or to purchase tickets ($125 per person) call 310-377-9584 ext. 300. or e-mail friendsinfo@pvld.org. PEN

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