Ralph Jones


Ralph Jones


Ralph Jones had just graduated from Cass Tech in the summer of 1967. The week of July 23, he was a camp councilor and spent several days away from the city.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






Written Story


I have often reflected on the events of the period of July 1967.
I graduated from Cass Tech. in Music in June 1967. What happened
afterwards is for deep thoughts. Maternal Grandfather passed in January.
Graduation, John Coltrane left the body July 17th, 1967, we young
Detroit aspiring musicians were still reeling from Coltrane and we opened our eyes
to the 1967 disturbance. At the time I was working as a camp counselor at St. Agnes
church on 12th street and the discussion was do we take the children to sleep-away camp,
or not due to the disturbances that started on Sunday, July 23rd.
We decided it would be best to the children away from the fires of Detroit and
take them away at least for a few days. We kept up with what was happening
on the radio and came back after 3 days. I lived with my family on Hazelwood
between Dexter and Wildemere. The curiosity of a 17 year-old had me walk
to Joy Road and watch the fires and looting of A&P, Wrigley's, and the market
on the west side of Joy and Dexter. I didn't know if I was sad for Coltrane,
the destruction of my neighborhood stores or the fact that in a few weeks,
I would be enrolling in Eastern Michigan University, absolutely not my first choice,
but it was Eastern or Viet Nam. I often thought of how all the events of the
past leading up to July 1967, shaped my days to come.I grieved for humanity,
and I still miss John Coltrane whose passing affected many, more deeply than
most really understood. A Brother of Peace. We are having our 50th class reunion
next July and I'm sure there are many stories from those that were students who
grew up that summer of 1967.
Be Peace, Be True,
Ralph M. Jones

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Submitter's Name

Ralph Jones

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“Ralph Jones,” Detroit 1967 Online Archive, accessed February 20, 2020, http://detroit1967.detroithistorical.org/items/show/326.

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