20 June 2007

P. F. Johnson (1914-2007)

Mom calld early this morning to tell me of the death of Mr. Johnson.

when I was a boy I was a member of the YMCA. it was a wonderful environment where I swam & went to bean lunches. the only adult I remember from that critical learning age was Mr. Johnson. he was a kind soft-spoken man. I no longer recall his title. but I presume he was in charge of "activities." & he was the one who got me startd collecting stamps. his specialty was first day covers. so at age 11 I began collecting them too. here's one for the 1956 stamp commemorating the home of James Buchanan:

I like that he used his return address & wrote my address by hand. a lovely linking. in fact the last time I saw his daughter Judith I gaver her one of those old first day covers as a souvenir of that priceless time of my life.

& in summers Mr. Johnson workd at Camp Iss See Kes. going to this Y camp was a highlight of my pre-teen summers. somewhere I still have a set of nature prints I did under his tutelage.

I hope there are still Mr. Johnsons out there opening worlds up to the young.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seems you have the only more-or-less current thing on the web regarding Camp Iss See Kes.

I was there during the summers of 1956 and 1957. Mr. Johnson got me into making direct prints of leaves on sepia photographic paper exposed to the sun. There was a small charge per sheet, and while kids seemed to make a couple or three, I made about fifty...who needs candy bars?

I had a great time there, and its only through the web that I can even (vaguely) figure out where it was.

Thanks for the connection.

Tom F.