Johnny

Posted By Communications on Jul 3, 2020 | 0 comments


Writing submitted by Diane Dawson.

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Johnny

Johnny was a tall man.

Johnny owned the milk cow farm across the road. Big barns, tall silos, big tractors! “Mrs. Johnny” had Native American blood, too.
They had two, tall sons older than my brother, a daughter younger than my brother, and another daughter younger than me. I still remember the sound of their cows being called in for milking, and how they would form a line and march, faithfully, from the pastures to the barn.
Johnny was a hard-working man.

Johnny farmed our fields with corn and hay. Daddy never charged him a penny. Daddy wanted the land cared for and trusted Johnny.
RESPECT.

We had horses and Johnny brought the hay for our horses that he farmed off our land. They always would lend a hand if our horses got out and were “down the road.”
RESPECT.

One winter a young horse fell on the ice and could not get up, but was still alive. We called Johnny. I still remember my mother gently holding the horse’s head feeding her hot coffee….
mother and horse wrapped in warm blankets. Johnny built a sling in our barn so we could get the horse
back on her feet. He got her into the sling.
Sadly, she did not survive, but we tried. Johnny was a good man.
RESPECT.

When my brother and I began to go to college and leave to start our careers, Johnny said to me, “If your parents ever need anything at all, you call me.” Johnny was a loving man.
RESPECT

After Mother and Dad died, my brother and I went to talk with Johnny to see if he wanted to purchase the land. He could not so we asked him if he would continue to farm the land for us after we sold just the house and a few acres. He said he would. We never charged him a penny. Sixteen years later we sold the land and thanked Johnny for all he had done for our family.
RESPECT

Johnny was a tall man.
Johnny was a hard-working man.
Johnny was a good man.
Johnny was a loving man.
Johnny was a Black man.
It was “the content of his character” that mattered to us,
and I guess ours mattered to him as well. Thank God for neighbors like Johnny.
RESPECT!

Written by Diane Dawson, Ithaca, New York, June 26, 2020.

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