Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Who Was Jay Harrison?

The article below appeared on JFKCountercoup2, a blog written by Bill Kelly, JFK assassination researcher. It is not clear from the posting where or when the article appeared. What it fails to mention is who provided the information for the obituary, or even who wrote it for the newspaper. Very likely it was furnished by Walt Brown, the history teacher and COPA member trusted by Harrison at the time of his death to receive his files and papers

Jay's father's parents were John Calvery/Calverley Harrison (born in Lancashire, England, in 1868, died in Leominster, MA in 1921) and Eva Maude Proctor (1876 – 1950). Jay's mother was born in California to John Archibald Fraser, Jr. and Charlotte Theresa Mcclintock.

Obituary: HARRISON, JOHN FRASER [J and Jay]

Jay was born in Portland Maine on 8 Nov 1933. He was the only child of John Alexander and Leonore Mary (Fraser) Harrison. His father was then the Portland Branch Manager for the Burroughs Adding Machine Company.

His paternal ancestry went back to 5 pilgrim passengers onboard the Mayflower that landed in Plymouth, MA on 16 December 1620. His maternal ancestry went back to the Fraser Clan in Kintail Parish of Ross and Cromarty County Scotland thence to Brockville Ontario, Canada, along with a direct linkage to Simon Fraser (his Great-Grand Uncle) of Canadian historical fame.

Jay used to joke that one day, when he was about 13 and living on the family farm back in Ogunquit Maine, he looked into a mirror and said "Where in the world did he come from?" and he searched for the answer to that question for the rest of his life. He was an active genealogist from that day forward.

Jay graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring MD and went on to the Industrial Engineering School at The University of Maryland. His college education was interrupted by the Korean Police Action in early 1953.

Jay was drafted into the US Army and was trained in communications and intelligence and among other assignments was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Communication Center in The Pentagon. Following his "active" service he was assigned to a Reserve SIRA Team (Strategic Intelligence Research and Analysis) for 6 more years.

Jay held, during his military service, every Security Clearance ever issued and was sworn to secrecy on many subjects for the rest of his life. He abided by that commitment and refrained from addressing subjects that are today common topics on the internet.

Jay also attended George Washington University and the University of Maryland while he was stationed in Washington, DC, and then in later years Graduate School at the University of Texas in Austin.

As a veteran, and while attending UofM, Jay worked evenings repairing Multilith printing presses in Government agencies for Addressograph-Multigraph in Washington, DC. Jay then joined the sales component of A-M and became a Junior Salesman in Rochester, NY servicing Eastman Kodak Co. It was in Rochester that he met and married Marian Ernest, another A-M employee. Upon promotion to Senior Salesman Jay was transferred to the newly created branch office in Montgomery, Ala. Jay and Marian arrived in Montgomery in the first week of December in 1955 and that was the same week that Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat to a white person on the bus and the famous "bus boycott"  began.

Over the next few years Jay was promoted and reassigned by AM to Cleveland, OH, Erie, PA and eventually Dallas, TX in late 1959.

On 13 Jun 1961 he became a Reserve Officer on the Dallas Police Department. His military background and genealogical research experience was used by the DPD's Criminal Intelligence Section.

At the time of the Kennedy Assassination at 12:30PM on 22 Nov 1963 he was on assignment observing the Black Muslim Church, as intelligence information was that members of that church would be creating a scene somewhere along the motorcade route. When the shooting event happened, he went to the School Book Depository Building and arrived there 4 minutes following the shooting. Later that day he was on the guard team for Governor Connally at the ICU in Parkland Hospital.

He was the first Reserve Officer of the DPD to be awarded the The Meritorious Conduct Award, the highest award to an officer of the DPD. This award was made on May 14, 1965 for his research efforts  into the Kennedy Assassination and associated events before, during and after the action.

In 1964 he left A-M Corp and joined one of his clients (Texas Instruments) as its Corporate Printing Coordinator.

In July 1966 he was was hired by Frank McBee, the VP of a small but rapidly growing, electronics firm in Austin to be their Publications Manager. That company's name was TRACOR. Jay's first day there was  Monday, 1 Aug 1966, and he and a personnel officer ate an early lunch at the Night Hawk Restaurant at 19th and Guadalupe. They came outside about 12:05 and at that time Charles Whitman was shooting from the Tower.

In 1968 Jay became VP of Market Development of Norman Harwell & Associates (NHA, Inc) the 2nd largest technical publication firm in the world. In 1971, after the elimination of MIL-Spec requirements of the federal government, NHA went from over 1700 employees to less than 100. Unfortunately Jay was one of the ones that was looking for a new job.

In 1974 he returned to Austin and went to work for Nash Phillips-Copus Co (NP-C) as a salesman in their Multi-family Division. He was NP-C's Salesman of the Year in 1975 and 1976. He was awarded the Outstanding Salesman of the year award by the Austin Association of Sales Executives;  He was one of the top 10 Salesman in the nation in the years 1976, 77 and 78 by the National Association of Homebuilders. Jay was promoted to Sales Manager of NP-C in 1977. NP-C was the 2nd largest builder in Texas and 7th largest builder in the nation. CenTex Construction (a Clint Murchison, Sr Company) was the largest builder in both TX and the nation.

In 1979 Jay founded Texas Real Estate Marketing & Consulting Corp (TREMAC). It grew to be in the top 3 of Commercial real estate firms in the Austin Market. Its annual sales exceeded 35 million dollars. It went dormant in the real estate crash of 1988.

Jay has been a licensed real estate broker for over 25 years. He wanted to return to commercial real estate sales when the market recovered in 1998/99 but he has been recovering from major surgical and physical disabilities since 1998.

He has been Amateur Radio Licensed since 1952. His current call sign is N5BHU.  Jay received the original "Mayday" from the Medical college on Grenada Island and ALL the communications with that facility were through his home in Rollingwood for over a week in October 1983. The US Department of State and The Defense Department had open telephone lines to his residence for that whole week. His station was manned for 24 hours a day and he still has audio tapes of all the communications. (Ref: Dick Stanley AAS Staff).
Jay has done genealogical research for over 55 years and is a highly respected researcher of Colonial New England, The Republic of Texas, and early Texas History. He has been a contributing patron of the Texas State Library and through the years has donated many thousands of dollars in books, equipment and computer CD's to their genealogical collection. He was one of the original founders and authors of "Automated Archives" the ORIGINAL producer of genealogical CD ROMS in the early 1990's.

Jay is the Certified Genealogist for The Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. His current effort is doing hard genealogical research on all 150+ Justices of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas.

Jay was a licensed pilot and in his spare time liked to cruse off into the wild blue yonder.

He can now do it permanently.


Unknown said...

My name is Abe Conrique (KA6YSJ and later KP2AY). Jay and Ernie (WA4CCP) answered and attended to my "Mayday" call in 1983 when my yacht "SIRI" went aground in the corral reefs in Nicaragua. Later I mat them both at the National HAM convention in Houston. Jay came aboard 'SIRI" as my guest for a week sometime later and we all me Captain Kibbet(I forget his call sign but was from La Ceiba, Honduras. Met Hal and Annie from the Bay Island of Honduras (Also HAMS. That rescue took many days with a large collection of hams from around the world chipping in for a successful and happy resolution. I am immensly sorry that I did not keep in touch for all these years. I do wish him a sincere RIP

Anonymous said...


Dawn Meredith said...

The obit was written by J. He emailed it to only two people: Walt Brown and myself.
(Attorney) Dawn Meredith
Austin. TX.