My Friend Jon De Vick
By Bob Mac Neil
Jon was full of fun. He was a very outgoing person, the kind that is very easy to get to know. In 1957, we were roommates in the Washington State College (now WSU) dorm. Jon loved girls, the coed type. We lived in Mc Allister Hall, and Jon took a job as houseboy in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. He made some good coed connections that way. At that time Jon (his real name was John, but he didn't care for that spelling) drove a Model T sedan. It was a big attention getter, especially with the ladies. He was always running around with a Model T full of them.
Once on the way home from Pullman, Jon spotted a speedster in a farm building. He stopped and talked to the owner, and eventually made a deal for it. It was a very desirable Laurel speedster with all the original Laurel accessories.
We caught a crow and put it into a cage in our dorm room. Early in the morning, at sun up, that crow would do his calling. Jon thought the rest of the dorm needed to be annoyed along with us, so he rigged the intercom to broadcast the crow's wake up call to all of the rooms in the dorm. The consequence of this little stunt was that I was not allowed to return to the dorm the next year!
Jon did not return to college the next year, and for a while I lost track of him. He got married, had a son and a daughter. He lived in the Seattle area and worked for Boeing. In addition to the Laurel speedster, Jon had a 1926 sedan and a 1919 coupe, which I believe is the car that he drove in the 1974 Montana 500. That was the only year that he entered, and he finished near the bottom of the pack.
I ran into Jon at the Puyallup swap meet in the 1990's. He had a brain tumor, which had changed his personality. He was rather introverted and seemed to have some trouble remembering me. It was very sad to see someone as vibrant and full of life as Jon become so withdrawn and quiet.
Eventually the cancer took him. He passed away in 1999. His son still has his Model T's.