From Morning to PM,
her smile shines through
It is almost impossible to spend more than a minute with Jan Jones and not smile. She is a genuinely happy person and is thrilled when she gets to share that happiness.
Of course that does not mean she has never had a bad day or problems. Jan Jones just knows how to make the best of every situation and chooses to do so. Here is her story.
She was born January 8, 1946 at Polyclinic Hospital in downtown Cleveland. Her first stop after Polyclinic was her maternal grand mother's (Mihalic) home on Glass Avenue.
Jan Paulich Jones - Queen (Baby) for a day
At the time she was born, her father, who had served in WWII, was still serving in the military. A self-described "city kid" her next home was above her Grandfathers Saloon - Paulich's on East 53rd and St. Clair. When her father was honorably discharged in March 1946, he took over the running of the bar for about 3 years.
Young Jan Paulich
Her heritage is 100% Slovenian. Although her parents were born in this country, her grandparents where born in what is now Slovenia. She was baptized in the very ethnic St. Vitus Parish.
Jan is the oldest of three children. She has a sister, Karen Jassy, who is married and has one son. She also has a brother, John, the baby of the family. He is also married and has two sons. Both Karen and John live in Florida with their families. Jan's parents also live in Florida.
Growing up over a saloon was never dull. As the first grandchild born to the Paulichs, all of the customers wanted to see her, hold her and fuss over her. And Jan loved every minute of it. It may have been her first glimpse at what life in front of an audience was like.
After about three years, her father went into Paulich's Specialty Company at 160th and Waterloo. This was really where Jan grew up and where she was joined by her brother and sister. "I remember living above the store and walking down to Lawson's to get a pint of ice cream."
"I couldn't have had a finer education," says Jan of her scholastic life. As a youngster, she attended Euclid Park Elementary and then Memorial Elementary/major work program and Collinwood Junior High School. She is a 1963 graduate of Mayfield High School and a 1967 graduate of Michigan State where she majored in Speech and English with a minor in Art and Education.
Jan Paulich Jones
In school, in addition to her studies she was a gym leader, a cheerleader, and a member of student council. She remembers her father saying "the more active, the less troubles."
The family bought a home in Mayfield Village and she transferred to Mayfield High school. She was the last class to graduate form the old school. "In cases like this, the new kid can either do nothing or do everything - and I chose everything!"
"I had always been a [Collinwood] Railroader but I turned into a real [Mayfield] Wild Cat." In later years, Mayfield would honor Jan by inducting her into their Hall of Fame.
Her father put in her in commission sales while she was at school. "It was scary, but very good for me." She prepared for her sales calls the same way she did for theater productions. She would make the calls in the morning, and if she made the sales, she didn't have to work in the afternoon.
Jan always thought she would go into business with her father but the more she got into theater at school the more passionate she became about it. "I knew theater was what I really loved".
She remembers calling her dad during a "sophomore slump" from a pay phone on campus asking him what she should do. He told her to get her teaching certificate - just in case. Then he said she should pursue her dream, but still be able to support herself.
She spent two summers performing in Summer Stock at Michigan State. She taught Jr. High English for six years in Kentucky and then she taught at Memorial in South Euclid. She taught English and Speech and coached drama and cheer leading.
It was her own drama coach that first suggested she do commercials. At this time, she was married and had one child. She decided to give it a try and made her calls during study halls and down times. By the time she had her second child she joined AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and gave up teaching.
Jan Jones first AFTRA photo
She got a call from AFTRA saying that TV8 was looking for a weather girl - would she like to try it? She was concerned about giving up her weekends with the family, but discovered the job was weekdays at noon. By this time she had done a lot of commercials and had done some spots on Channels 3 and 5.
"I didn't really expect to get the job, but I wanted Channel 8 to know who I was." They did offer her the job and she was so shocked that she "slid down the cupboard and landed on the floor. I couldn't believe it. That was really the start of everything."
The show turned into an hour show called the "Noontime Show" with Ann Mulligan, Dave Buckel and Mike Keane.
Mike Keene, Jan Jones and Dave Buckel
Jan did not have time to "hang out" with her coworkers after a show because she had a family to take care of and feels this is why she was ultimately let go.
Some time went by, but it was not long before Jan got a call to interview for Morning Exchange. She was chosen and in her words "This was the real lynch pin of my career." In the beginning, there was Jan, Fred Griffith and Joel Rose. "I was not Joel's first choice but we wound up being great friends."
Fred Griffith, Jan Jones and Joel Rose
It was a very different time than today. Jan's wardrobe was to be brown, gray, navy, burgundy and black and should be all suits with bow blouses.
Jan cannot say enough about Fred Griffith. "He gave such wonderful advice. He taught me that the best interviewer is a good listener and told me to always remember that the host is not the star - the guest is the star." He also advised her to remember who her audience is, something Jan always did.
Jan Jones and Fred Griffith
on Morning Exchange set in 1980
"I answered all my mail and phone calls myself; it was something else Fred taught me. It is so important to acknowledge people's kindness. This was a Fred lesson, but also one I learned from my family when I was growing up. You never take any act of kindness for granted."
Her father first taught her this as a child. He borrowed his own philosophy from Buddha "As you think so you become." The other message her father constantly taught her was his own philosophy, "You be nice to people and they'll be nice to you" and Jan says it almost always worked.
WEWS Cameraman Ron Myers with Jan Jones and Dorothy Fuldheim
Jan had two children and would get up at 5 a.m. She would go to work and Joel would meet her at the back door with plans and plots - "we were in cahoots to get Fred each day!"
Cleveland Press July 4, 1980 -
Fred Griffith, Jan Jones and Joel Rose
She describes Fred as a "warm heart" and Joel as "a delight". The camera crew was family to her. "I grew up on Cleveland Television. I cut my teeth on Morning Exchange."
People watched her go from a brunet to a red head to a strawberry blond to a blonde over three years. "Everything was right there on the television for everyone to see - and comment on!"
The Morning Exchange Gang -
Fred Griffith, Jan Jones and Joel Rose
Jan spent eight years on the Morning Exchange. Her producer, Joe Riser had moved to Boston and had a new show there called "People are talking". He invited her to audition there - which she did and Jan and her family moved to Boston for "a truly wonderful opportunity."
The move to Boston did not go smoothly. She and her family had been living on a big farm in Macedonia. Of course, they had to sell the farm, and thought they had. But at the very last minute, the buyers walked out of the deal, totally disrupting their plans. Her husband stayed to sell the house and Jan and her two children moved to Boston.
Jan Jones in 1984
Jan only stayed for one season. "My marriage was suffering and I had to make a choice between my marriage and my career. I chose marriage and I came back." Within a few months, her husband walked out on them. "He didn't want to drag us down with him. My life was a country western song. Lost my job. Lost my home. Lost my car. Lost my husband."
She had never really given up the commercial work, so necessity inspired her to "step it up" and get back into it more actively.
Channel 8's Tana Carli, Channel 3's Mona Scott and Channel 5's Jan Jones at Tennis Championships Kick Off in 1982
Jan got another offer that changed things dramatically for her. PM Magazine was looking for a "B" team. The "A" team was already in place with Cathy Burgett and Tony Harris. PM Magazine hired Jan and Michael Stanley who very quickly became the "A" team.
"Michael and I brought a completely different feeling to PM Magazine. Prior to that, it had been cookie-cutter franchise hosts. Now there was Michael Stanley with his Rock n' Roll image and ME!"
Michael Stanley and Jan Jones on PM Magazine
Jan and Michael both had very distinct personalities. They started out memorizing everything. When someone forgot a line or interrupted, the cameramen would stop and wanted to start over. "It took several months to get the cameramen over to our side. It became so much more fun with all of the spontaneity and mistakes. We were still a franchise show - but now we really belonged to Cleveland!"
They did a lot of remote shoots: everything from the Zoo to Rugby games at John Carroll. They also got to travel a lot - but Jan says the travel may have been the hardest part. "We had to put a lot into each day, working triple time to get the stories in."
"Michael thought I was nuts. He was a great foil for me. I would bungee jump, or do just about anything and he would just shake his head."
Jan Jones and Michael Stanley
Jan says she had two lives - one included family, children and old friends and the other was her career. The worlds were separate. She was single and raising two kids without child support or alimony. "During this time I did PM Magazine, commercials, speeches - everything. People said I was everywhere, but that's why. I had to be. I had to raise my children. There was no savings, but the bills were paid. My daughter went to college while I was single and we never took a loan. Again I think it was my upbringing."
Her favorite PM Magazine trips were the ones she was able to bring the kids. "I paid for their air fare and incidentals, but they could stay in my room and those were the very best trips!" She took her college age daughter to the Mediterranean and her son to New Zealand. Her son almost crashed bungee jumping in New Zealand.
She not only allowed him to do it again but she insisted on it "I didn't want him to have any residual fears or problems as a result of his near accident. But when it was over I broke down and cried and I was so very, very grateful."
Jan Jones bungee jumping in 1987
The PM Magazine franchise ended and new owners took over. Jan stayed on with the show. But then the Gulf War happened "and that did us in. Everything became news."
Jan never chose to do hard news because it was depressing. She always went instead toward the human interest stories with laughter or tears. She never even liked watching the news.
Jan Jones and daughter in National
Mother/Daughter Pageant in 1988
Jan started doing the Realty One Fine Homes for Gracious Living shows part-time. It was enough to keep her in people's lives. "It was like being weaned from the industry." When that ended, she continued to do free lance work.
Jan met Dr. Sheldon Artz for the first time when he was one of the first guests on Noon Time. They became professional friends and remained so ever since. He and his partner, Dr. Mel Dinner, co-founders of the Center for Plastic Surgery, were often guests on the show.
Jan Jones and Dr. Sheldon Artz wedding in 1993
When the time came that they were both single, they started dating. They had dinner in Little Italy. "I remember asking if this is a real date and Shelly said Yes. I started to laugh because I realized I had fallen in love with my best friend."
At the time Dr. Artz was a smoker and Jan put her foot down. She would not be involved with someone willing to jeopardize his own life. Without hesitation - he quit.
She is currently "deeply and completely in love" and married to Shelly Artz, a now retired plastic surgeon. Her children are Jil Jones Cooke a physical therapist, who is married and has 1 daughter; J Jones who is in investment and finance is married and also has one daughter; Holly Artz Peterson, a reading specialist and Megan Artz Kirley, a married homemaker with 2 daughters and 1 son.
Jil lives in South Carolina, J in Colorado, Hailey in Oregon and Megan in London. "They are all our children and grandchildren." "Jil was actually christened Jill but in seventh grade decided the second L was redundant and dropped it. J was Jerald William or JW. He dropped the W."
There are four shared children, not two a piece. Jan and Shelly worked hard to have all four children know each other and stay connected, now they do it on their own, and Jan is thrilled.
Jan Jones and husband Dr. Sheldon Artz in summer 2007
Shelly says of Jan, "She is a true mother in the truest sense of the word. She does what needs to be done with love and understanding, but she will practice tough love if that is what is called for. She keeps things in perspective."
Her children, and now her grandchildren, grew up with rules and she was always honest with them. "I saw no reason to candy coat things. Truth is too important to water down."
Their grandchildren call their home Camp Nana-Papa and love to come there, but there are rules and boundaries. "That's the only way we can keep them safe." Jan notes that it is much harder to be a good parent with boundaries than a parent who lets the children do whatever they want. "I was not their best friend - I was their mom. It was not until much later that we became such good friends."
"Every morning I wake up and am thrilled that I have another beautiful day in Cleveland, Ohio. There is no place I would rather be."
In 2000, Shelly suffered from his second heart attack. Knowing the medical field and Cleveland Clinic so well, he was not at all worried when he said, "Let me be your guinea pig." So he went into a test group and it seemed like things were going well.
Unfortunately, he was in the group that was given placebos and a heart transplant was required. After a check up one day, he was told he could not leave the hospital until they found him a heart. He waited in the hospital for 81 days. "He's very charismatic" says Jan. "When he would go for his walks through the hospital he would always take other patients with him."
When his heart finally came in, they had to page him - twice - because he was out walking! He got the call from Life Banc, an organization he and Jan both support and promote endlessly. The first heart did not take and he shot to the top of the list.
Within 24 hours he had a new heart and is now skiing, golfing, hiking and playing tennis. "His job is to be healthy. He was given a second chance and that is very rare. So, it is his job to stay healthy."
Jan and her husband are both on the Board of Life Banc and are constantly trying to convince people to register as organ donors.
Jan Jones at home in 2007
When Shelly got very sick, she knew she wanted to spend her time taking care of him. Currently she says she is "blissfully retired" but that does not mean "lolling around with nothing to do" by any stretch of the imagination.
Although by her own admission, she is not the Energizer Bunny she is not often without something to do. Getting up early is no longer on her agenda. "I've always been a night person with a morning job."
She still does commercial work and is the phone voice for Mountaineer and Executive Caterers at Landerhaven. Jan also does voice-overs for the Cuyahoga County Fair.
Shelly and Jan bought a home that sits on 4 acres of park land - not far from the city but far enough to give Jan and Shelly the country feel they love so much. Although he is retired from the daily practice of Plastic Surgery, he still teaches at the Cleveland Clinic Medical School.
Jan Jones and husband Dr Sheldon Artz
on porch at Angels Nest in 2007
Her husband named their beautiful home "Angels' Nest" because it is filled with love and peace. "We love to come home. We love the change of seasons. We love the winter - we know it will end. We love the shades of grey. We don't mind that Cleveland can be overcast - we find it romantic."
And romance is a big part of Jan and Shelly's life. They were included in the Cleveland Couples book by Kathy Dawson which highlighted 40 of Cleveland's most romantic couples. She shares this honor with couples like Wilma Smith and her husband Tom Gerber, Mike and Sharon Hargrove and former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell and her husband Hunter Morrison.
Jan describes the basis for their happiness in very simple terms. "I like myself. Shelly likes him. We like each other. And we respect each other. It's not very complicated but it is really very nice."
Sheldon Artz and Jan Jones on ski trip
Jan has been married to Shelly for almost 15 years. Together they have toured China, South America, The Baltic Sea, Scandinavia and even Russia. "I still have that PM mentality of 'squeeze in everything you can and relax when you get home."
Jan says it took her many years to relax on a vacation, instead of trying to see everything in three days. But finally, she learned and now loves to take long weekend or short week trips.
Jan is the Illustrator of a children's book on grieving by Mentor author, Gayle Shaw Cramer. In the book, The Secret of the Dragonfly, a grandmother uses the dragonflies "secrets" to explain to her young grandson how they will always be together.
Painting by Jan Jones
Jan has taken up dance lessons - and now does dance aerobics - something she looks forward to with great passion. "Latin, tap, -all dance is just so wonderful. It really makes me happy to go to my classes. I love the social part as well as the dance and really look forward to seeing the girls in my class."
"It tickles me when we're out at a game or something and some one remembers me. I was never bothered by people who wanted to say hello. They were always so kind. I felt I belonged to the city." Her kids often asked why strangers on the street would want to talk to her and she says, "That always kept me humble and grounded."
Shelly and Jan are both talkers - and she says they both have a lot to talk and laugh about. April Fools Day is a huge holiday in their lives, with elaborate plans started months before. In a recent prank, she let her children think she was going on the Reality Show, Survivor, on a special Senior Survivor season.
She dropped little tidbits into conversations about training, made up stories about the other contestants, made up tests and challenges. Her kids told their friends and families and everyone was so excited for her. Of course, Shelly helped. When the kids would call, he would say she was covered in mud and exhausted or some other Survivor related excuse.
On April Fools Day she faxed a "confession" to each of their businesses so it would be there when they got in. But as soon as her daughter realized April Fools Day was here, she knew - even before the fax. Still, everyone will remember this as the Ultimate April Fools prank.
Jan and Shelly describe themselves as teases "but never in a negative way. Making fun of people is not funny. Neither is sarcasm. "They admit to being very corny - often resulting in groans from kids and grandkids.
Jan Jones and family at daughter's wedding in 2007
Jan is a practicing Catholic. Shelly is Jewish. They both share a deep commitment to faith. Jan says, "I am protected in a cocoon of prayer."
When Jan was first married, she lived in a trailer in Fort Knox. She started a cheerleading unit for the girls in the small town. "Wherever you are you can make a wonderful world."
"That doesn't mean I don't cry. I remember sitting on the steps after my second divorce with my son and I was crying about being alone. He put his little arm around me and said 'I kinda like it like this'. I will never forget that. I respected my kid's feelings and they stepped up to the plate."
Jan volunteers at the [Chagrin] Valley Arts Center and Chagrin Valley Little Theater. "Murder by the Falls" is the only production I do now - but I do it every year," She is a volunteer for the library and generally "doing all of the things my friends did when I was a working mom."
She is a member of the Ohio Radio, TV Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and is Associate Hosters Chair of the Music and Drama Club of Cleveland. "I don't want to be in charge. I am happy to do the work."
Larry Morrow, Jan Jones,
Connie Dieken and Doug Dieken with awards
Jan even took classes at the Crazy Horse Saloon, though she was quick to add the club was closed at the time. It was a high-level cardio-aerobic class but basically, she learned to pole dance.
Jan says she has a temper - though it is hard to imagine. "I stay nice and smile. I take it. Take It. Take It. Then I blow. And when I do it's not a pretty site."
Jan Jones at home in 2007
Jan has had plastic surgery herself, and would never even consider hiding it. "If I have the opportunity to look as good as I can, wouldn't it be foolish not too."
It would be easy to think of Jan Jones as phony. Who, after all, could be that happy all of the time? Jan has not always had a reason to be happy - but she never gave up or gave in.
She always believed, as her father taught her, that she had the power to make even the worse situation better with a positive attitude.
She is a wholesome, down-to-earth, fun woman who makes people smile. She is a good mother, a good wife and a good friend.
Isn't Jan Jones what we all, deep down, would like to be?
Profiled by Debbie Hanson (7/07)
See photos of Jan Jones with Celebrities
See photos of Jan Jones through the years - her many looks.
Do you know a women with an interesting story to tell?
E-Mail us at: profiles@ClevelandWomen.Com
Update: Jan Jones did a tremendous job as Narrator of Opera in the Italian Cultural Garden on July 31, 2011. If you were not one of the 1100 attendees, you can view Jan and the performers at the Opera in the Italian Garden page.
Jan Jones in the Italian Garden
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