They loved San Francisco and first settled across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, Marin County. Marin is where they raised their two children and extended their circle of associations in the arts. Wherever they went, they always came back to Marin. They loved exploring the Northern California coasts and the inland wine country of Sonoma and Napa counties. Together they found a love of the town of Sonoma and in 1983 they bought a house close to the Town Square and Byron retired. But for Byron, there really wasn’t such a thing as retirement. He was soon thoroughly wrapped up in local community growth, becoming a Member of the board of directors of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers, and a Member of the board of directors of the Sonoma Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau.
Then came Petanque.
What do Snoopy, Charles Schulz, Bill Cosby, Byron W. Mayo and Mick Jagger have in common? Petanque. It’s the National Game of France. Those who know it love it, those who don’t should check it out. It’s an addiction. Back in 1988, Byron fell in with a loose circle of French locals and became an enthusiast of Petanque. In 1990 a cadre of locals got together and created the Valley of the Moon Petanque Club (VOMPC). Due to the large population of French living among the Vineyards of Sonoma Valley, the growth of the club quickly filled with both beginners and seasoned players, Byron among them. Byron loved the sport. He played several times a week, played often in tournaments, acted as club President in 1995, and volunteered to gather material and edit the club newsletter, a labor of love that he continued for 7 years. Byron also became one of the greatest recruiters of new players. He is generally credited with having a large influence onswelling the club to 150 players, sitting on club boards, helping to create the rules of conduct and being probably the most charming and gracious booster of the game in the club. It created a fitting final chapter for Byron. A new career actively enjoyed in his retirement years. Something that always made him smile.
I was assigned to Tinian in VMTB-242 where the B-29″s were stationed also. We shared the runway. I was there when the B-29 Enola Gay took off with the atomic bomb to bomb Hiroshima, Japan and later on (3 days later) another B-29 flew to Nagasaki, Japan to drop another atomic bomb. I was also sent up to Iwo Jima with VMTB-242 to fly around the island.
My phone number is (919) 384-2325. Call me to talk about the experience.
My father John Riley Jones was an enlisted man in VTMB 242. He died at a young age and I was unable to share his WWII experiences. He went on to serve in the AF in the Korean era and later as an in flight refueling specialist in Viet Nam. Through these memories I am able to reconstruct for the first time my fathers WWI experience. Thank you and your family.