Jarrett Washington
Jerry Washington was a former State Director of the Kentucky MUFON chapter. His hometown was Louisville. Originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Jerry was the son of an Atomic Energy Commission administrator and grew up among the families of Atomic City s scientists and bureaucrats. The extraordinary musical talent he demonstrated as a preschooler led to a precocious life of training and competition as a child prodigy pianist. During his teen years, sightings of unidentified flying objects plying the restricted airspace over the city's nuclear installations became practically commonplace to Jerry and his friends. A close encounter that involved passing in a car beneath a hovering disc as large as a tractor-trailer truck, left him with a lasting certainty of the reality of the UFO phenomenon, which he was not afraid to wave in the face of anyone who dismissed such accounts as misperceptions or illusions.
Jerry eventually rebelled against the rigorously structured world of classical music and migrated to California, where he played keyboards in electric bands, rubbing shoulders and trading licks with some famous figures of the acid rock era. He partnered with and accompanied a young Pam Tillis trying her wings as a jazz singer, and eventually ended up in Nashville, hanging out at daddy Mel's mansion, among country music's elite. Jerry and Pam s collaboration, "I Could Be Loving You," was recorded by Dan Seals. In 1979, Jerry joined his brothers, who had made their home in Louisville. By then jaded to the popular music scene and weary of life on the road, he settled down to help bring up his baby nephew and pursue a new career in writing. In the mid-90 s he joined MUFON, shortly after the death of State Director Burt Monroe, and assumed leadership of the Kentucky chapter, serving for three years. From co-editing the chapter s monthly newsletter, The Bluegrass Bulletin, with Assistant State Director Annie MacFie a friendship arose, which developed into a writing partnership. The two resigned their MUFON offices to devote their creative energy to screenwriting. Working by email, between 1997 and 2004, they completed ten filmscripts, receiving their first option in 2003. Suffering from chronic back pain, Jerry spent much of the last decade confined to bed, yet he kept up an active life of telephone and Internet communication. He continued to follow the UFO news and had many friends in the investigator community. At the age of 52, his health suddenly deteriorated. After several days in intensive care at Norton Hospital, he succumbed to heart failure in the early evening of March 1, 2005. Jerry Washington left behind a sister, two brothers, a nephew and a body of creative work in the form of songs, recordings, articles and screenplays. (Annie McFie) Jerry was a good friend and frequent consultant via phone and internet concerning both my work with UFOs and my daughter's potential career in country music. I never got to meet him in person but shared many thoughts and problems and video tapes of recording sessions and contests. (Fran Ridge)