|Dick Jones...Chairman of the Board|
Dick is a native of West Virginia, a graduate of West Virginia Institute of Technology, with an MS in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. For three decades he engineered electrically for Westinghouse, in Leesburg, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Shiraz, Iran. Westinghouse sold him to Northrop Grumman, for whom he tested to distraction until his retirement in 2009. He has been married to his first wife, Kate, since 1970.
Dick met Kate in a ballroom dance studio, where he was learning and she was teaching. Within a few years he was winning trophies in Pro/Am ballroom dance competitions. One of his most significant ones were the first-place champion gold medals he won at the first-ever U.S. National Ballroom Dance Championships in 1972.
Dick's accumulated 43 first-place trophies are tucked in special nooks and crannies in the Jones residence. In addition to dancing in competitions, the Joneses performed exhibition programs to appreciative audiences in various venues, including on a flat-top roof in Shiraz. The standard program included nine dances, wonderful music, and two sets of glittering costumes.
Dick enjoys working with his hands, too, and his hobby of woodworking easily meshed with Kate's needs for gameboards and puzzle accessories. No matter how absurd an idea Kate dreams up, Dick is ready and willing to whip up a prototype. One of the more challenging concepts was the base and boxes for the Warp-30 puzzleit needed square holes drilled! Dick's ingenuity and craftsmanship turned this design into one of Kadon's most elegant "executive" sets, now sadly out of print. Read its farewell.
In 1985, Dick almost singlehandedly constructed Kadon's 16x16-ft. Renaissance booth. Except for the roof caving in from the massive snows of winter 1987, which Dick rebuilt in just three days the following summer, the booth held up well for 13 years and was then replaced by the contractor-built new pavilion.
The Jones living room has a wall of bookcases built by Dick, all the way up to the second-floor balcony.
Travel is one of Dick's other favorite things, and his camera is always at hand. In 1977 the Joneses circled the globe, through Iran, France, Germany, Belgium, England, Florida, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Hongkong, India, Bahrain and back to Iran. Other jaunts have taken them to Scotland, Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, Romania, Australia, Prague (Czech Republic), Belgium, Switzerland, Jamaica, and the then-Yugoslavia. Their cross-country trips in a battered old RV traversed most of the United States.
Further mountain-climbing excursions in the Bavarian Alps are also high on the wishlist. Here are the Joneses during their 1994 trip to Grainau, Germany... Above: in the gorge of "Höllenthalklamm." Below: relaxing at the wonderful Hotel Hirth, now sadly closed, with the mountain they hiked on in the background. In 1999 they repeated this visit, staying in the same penthouse room. It rained the whole week, so the daily hikes took place under ponchos. In July 2005 the Joneses returned to Grainau for an entire week, testing their stamina by revisiting the gorge, hiking the surrounding hills, and filling their lungs with the world's best fresh air. Dick's tripping over a tree root during one outing had prolonged consequences, eventually requiring knee surgery in November. The fall didn't keep him from bravely pushing on through the most strenuous climbs.
They returned to Bavaria in August 2008, where Kate spent most of the week in bed with bronchitis picked up in smoke-filled Prague. A few mild hikes still netted some great pics. The Joneses visited again in 2014 and 2019, in their new lodging, the Hotel Wetterstein, under better circumstances, although their attempt on the gorge in 2019 was aborted by a rainstorm that left them drenched by the time they got even halfway back to the hotel.
In August 2002 the Joneses toured Romania for a week with a group of puzzle collectors and their families. Here are some pictures and commentary. In August 2007 Dick and Kate finally fulfilled a long-standing dream to travel south of the equator, in their Australian Adventure. August 2008 found them in Prague, the now-Czech Republic. Their Summer 2009 trip across the U.S. revisited favorite places (like Carlsbad Caverns, below) and explored exciting new ones. In March 2010, the Joneses took to the water for a Caribbean cruise from Miami to Belize and Cozumel, while attending a shipboard gaming convention. Another first!
Kadon depends on Dick for computer services and equipment, for finding answers to any technical questions, for Internet interface, and for investment support. As Kadon's only creditor, Dick has reason to keep a very close eye on the corporation's operations and progress. His keen interest and knowledge about business trends (Forbes is his frequent reading) also make him eminently qualified to be Chairman of the Board. He has been re-elected to this post by the grateful shareholders continuously since 1980.
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