I just lost a great friend. We all grew up together hunting and fishing all of our lives. John loved every member of his family. Family came first to John.

Johnny was super quick! That was the reason he was so good at baseball and basketball. Before you could get your hands up, John had already hit you. We would wrestle when we were young and I was a lot bigger than him, but he would always end up on top. I saw him whip a 6’4” guy three times in one day!

We ran from the game wardens all of our life. We finally got caught when we were 50 years old. The game warden said something smart to Johnny and laughed at him. That was something that you did not do! I walked between them and said “no John.” That game warden did not know how close he came to getting the hell knocked out of him.

We did things that most people dream about. For instance, we knocked a hole in the gas tank on our car one night in Linden. I took a rag and a flathead screw driver and stopped the leak. John commented how funny it would be to light the stream of gas and drive through town. We did that!

We were at the drive-in one night in the winter. We put the speaker in the driver’s side window. When we left, we forgot the speaker and it pulled out the window in the car. We like to have froze to death before we got back to Linden. We did not have to worry about the girls being close that night!

John loved to ride a horse, and he could flat ride one! The wilder the better. My grandfather has a red mule that I dared John to ride one day. I caught the mule. John got on him and I turned that mule loose. He threw John about 15 feet in the air. I caught him again. The same thing happened again! We tried for two hours to put a saddle on this mule…Never did!

There was nothing like riding around with John’s friends T.C and Bobby Rickman, Russell Carrington, Mac Blankenship, Clark Blankenship, Mitchell Cotham, and last but not least, J.R. Wilson. When you have that group together, things start happening!

John was a very neat person. He could work all day in the hay field and get off the tractor looking like he had just stepped out of the shower. John also wanted everything done his way. You did not change his mind on this either. He was the best sawmill man I have been around. You could make money with this sawmill.

When John gets to the Pearly Gates he is like me…He is going to have to do some powerful talking. I am sure the gates will open up. He will drive up to the gates in a 1955 Chevy with a broke driver’s side window. God will tell him to go over by the pond and catch us some fish for supper.

So long old brother. It’s been a great ride. Thank you for all the great times.

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