In Memory

Thomas Mitchell 'Tom' Jones - Class Of 1974

Tom Jones
December 7, 1956 - May 11, 2008

Memorial Service Sunday, May 18, 3pm Art Car Museum 140 Heights Blvd.   It
was a warm, beautiful day at the Memorial Service. Both heartfelt and funny
memories were shared. An incredible number of Tom's friends came out to pay
their respects. We had an art car processional to Tom's house and back to
the  Museum, then we did our own processional on last week's Parade route.
Traffic  stopped to watch us pass. They knew we were paying our respects to
Tom as  we stopped traffic - nothing we usually do in a processional. Now is
our time  for healing. We'll never forget Tom, but with luck we'll remember
him with a  smile instead of with tears.   This website will be updated with
photo and story links daily, please check  back often.

The Art Car community lost a great friend early Sunday morning May 11, 2008.
These are the facts as I know them from first hand accounts of people that
were on the scene when and right after the incident happened. After this
year's Illuminated Cruise, the band was picking up equipment locked behind
the fence of the Museum, our starting point for the Cruise, and Tom was nice
enough to let someone use the restroom before heading home. He and 2 other
artists were sitting and talking on the curb, to the right of the Museum if
you are exiting the Museum, (where the Memorial has been erected). Dustin
Poe, a drunk male driving a White Pontiac GT, crossed the railroad tracks
and hit a (non-art car) Toyota Camry that was parked on Heights, near the
bank of phones at the convenience store, between the railroad tracks and the
Museum. The impact was so strong that it pushed the parked car approximately
40 feet, into Tom and the other 2 artists, over that tall curb, totaling the
Camry. One artist was able to roll out from under the car after the
collision, the other was thrown into the fence. Tom was pinned under the car
chest/waist down. He was conscious and able to talk to paramedics at the
scene. The car had to be removed off of Tom to free him. As I do not want to
disturb the family, this is what I know happened next: He was taken to Ben
Taub and was worked on in the ER. He then passed away during surgery due to
massive internal injuries. The other 2 artists did not sustain any life
threatening injuries.  Tom was 51 years old, and is survived by Becky
Sargent, his lifetime love of 32 years, 2 sisters, 2 brothers and both
parents.   Tom was a fixture and friend to everyone who came to the Art Car
Museum this past 4 years. Noah says it will take 10 people to replace him as
he was mechanic, head curator in charge of installations for the Art Car
Museum's exhibitions, painter, computer IT guy, and all around bright,
shining, happy light within the Museum. Noah said that the 4 years he worked
with him at the Museum went by like a month because Tom was not only a great
co-worker, with a positive attitude, but also a wonderful person and friend.
Tom was an entertainer as a musical front man, an Urban Animal skater, a
mechanic, a motorcycle rider and enthusiast, a hot rod enthusiast, an art
car artist, a painter, a photographer, a videographer (where his newest
piece is running in the Art Car Museum right now, along with his orange
"arted out" bicycle) and an all around good guy. Tom was an incredible
conversationalist who maintained a positive attitude no matter what or who
he faced. He is someone to emulate.   I encourage you to watch the last
known video taken of Tom at this site, it's great, and we are very fortunate
to have it to view and remember him by. It was made on Parade Day, this past
Saturday, May 10.
Here are some links to picture sharing websites taken by members of HACK!:  I heard many
discussions of tributes and fund raisers at our annual Sunday Brunch. Johnny
Rojas would like to dedicate it to him. I will forward all sympathy email to
the Discussion Board as I receive it. I encourage everyone who reads this to
go to our Discussion Board and leave your sympathies there, as the family
can link that page as well.   =Tom is in the thoughts of the entire Art Car Community and our deepest
sympathies go out to his family.   =April 2, 2008, outside the Art Car Museum (photo courtesy of Chef Dave)