It's been two days since Linton Mayor Tom Jones passed away, and the Greene County community remains in shock.
How could someone so active die so young? Jones was just 55 years old, and still very much a workingman. He had a nice desk at City Hall, but he was much more comfortable out and about. You could often find him with Linton city workers taking care of problems.
I will remember Jones as someone who wanted Linton to move forward, and he truly believed it would happen.
During numerous conversations the phrase "thinking outside the box" would come up. He believed if Linton and Greene County remained status quo, we would be left behind.
Some of his ideas took root, others didn't. I know he was working on a project at the time of his death and he told me many times that it was "big for Linton."
Hopefully the new mayor and City Council will continue his work.
Long before Tom became mayor, back in the 1980s, I remember talking to him many times at the Phil Harris Golf Course about his visions for Linton. He wasn't in politics at the time, but he cared deeply about his hometown's future.
I also remember when he first started considering a run for mayor in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He gave it a lot of thought before throwing his hat into the ring.
Tom was someone who was always prepared for any task. He did his homework. He knew doing anything less would have been a disservice to his city.
I'd be lying if I said Tom and I always got along. When he entered politics, and considering the business I'm in, there were times we didn't see things the same way.
But I will tell you this; Tom continued to treat me professionally and never turned his back when he'd see me in public.
I'm sorry I never thanked him for that.
Tom was an outstanding golfer, and won six Greene County Opens. We played in a few scrambles together, and he always treated my daughter, Rachael, well.
It's on the golf course that I spent the most time with Tom one afternoon in the late 1980s.
I was gathering information for a Greene County Open preview, and instead of doing a telephone interview; Tom asked if I wanted to play a round with him. I agreed.
I love golf, but I'm a hacker. I was scared I'd embarrass myself, and Tom would laugh. He never once said anything about a topped shot, slice into the woods, or a ball that landed in the water.
Instead, he wanted to talk about other things than golf. He loved golf, but he felt at home on the course and shared his views on many subjects.
Tom has many friends who will miss him. Linton will miss him and his visionary way of thinking.
I can't image what Patti and her family are going through. My wife, daughter, and I can only pray for them.
Chris is the general manager/editor for the Greene County Daily World.
He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at