Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thank Goodness... I'm not

For this week’s TAKE THIS TUNE, Jamie has chosen a tune by Ray Stevens titled: I Am My Own Grandpa. Ray Stevens has done a long list of silly/parody songs… this one included. And I do like his musical comedy. Personally, my favorite is “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” – along with the video (cute kids).

This brought me back to what I was investigating when I stopped blogging back in August or September. I never knew either of my grandfathers very well. My father was a mystery to me as well. I spent a lot of time investigating what made them tick. Well, I may not have figured that out, but I think I understand my father and his father better for having done the investigating.

My father’s father (Grandpa Johnson) passed away suddenly of a heart attack when I was about 8 years old. I thought I should cry over it, but never really did. I learned a lot about him through a journal that my Aunt Micky (dad’s much younger sister) kept… actually, my inquiries prodded her to begin her writing again. The following is the last piece that she sent me. She is almost 90 years old and I have left it as she wrote it. Todd School for Boys was the academia and Camp Tosebo was the summer boys camp associated with the school.


This all happened before I was born but they are stories that have been told in the family. My father, A E Johnson, came to Todd as a teacher after he graduated from Hiram College. When he married he was given West Cottage where my brother and sister were born. When the then headmaster left, the family was moved to the headmaster’s cottage and Dad took the duties as headmaster.

At one point Dad left for a year to find a new position. However he was lured back with the promise that he would run the school after Noble Hill retired. That promise was never fulfilled and my mother was very bitter about it

During this time Noble Hill’s son Roger attended the University of Illinois and married Hortence Gettys. My humble opinion is that had her eye on the school. Anyhow, when Noble Hill retired the school went to Roger and Camp Tosebo went to Noble’s daughter Carol. Roger did not yet have his degree so Dad had to sign official papers.

As far as A E Johnson’s presence at Tosebo, early in his career at Todd, he was given the choice of recruiting students or being on the staff of the new camp. We are all glad that he chose the camp.

As a young boy Orson Welles came as a student and became like a son to Roger Hill. Orson considered himself a genius and had some effect on the activities at Todd. There was a greater emphasis on dramatics.
Dad kept up the academic standards quietly. This side did not get the publicity that the dramas and athletics did. Dad also taught the printing. He also helped with the building of the stage coach and the barn for the horses.

I feel a little unhappy and cheated that my father’s memory seems to be forgotten in history of Todd School.

~Mildred Johnson Thomas~

My father passed away in 2002 at the age of 90. He had Alzheimers. He was a strict father and was closed to people on the emotional level. At some point I thought it might have been because my sister and I were adopted. He was closed emotionally to my children also. But when the disease set in and the great grandchildren came along, he had such a big loving heart I couldn’t believe it was the same man -- there were much less of the prior emotional inhabitions. That love had been hiding inside all along. In hindsight, I believe that he was never shown or taught to show his emotions. Men NEED to do this as well as do women.

I am still sad that I didn’t know these men better – that I didn’t see inside their hearts, and brains – before they passed into a brighter light.

So I tell those who matter that I love them... and I tell them as often as possible.

Thanks for stopping by... you have a great day and I will too.


  1. A wonderful story and it is good that you have written it down. I keep yowling that everyone carries 200 years of history.

    You heard stories of grandparents and will pass them along to grandchildren. My grandmother was born 15 years after the civil war and lived to see Man on the moon. My grandchildren will easily live past 2065 or 200 years after the end of the civil war.

    History not passed on is history gone forever.

  2. Very well said and right on the money. Emotionally closed folks make life difficult for everyone.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  3. Hi Carol. Hope you start blogging again. I also hope all is well. Hugs. :)

  4. Wanted to wish you a Happy Mother's Day. Big hug. :)


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