Posts Tagged ‘Johnson’
I have been working on a few submissions to The Rawlins County History Book Vol. III. The deadline is August 15. Here is one I worked on with John Mickey. He will be submitting some pictures, too. You’ll have to buy the book to see John’s pics.
Explorer Post 121
The Atwood Explorer Post 121 organized in 1975. It was Atwood’s first and only Explorer Post. The Post was open to girls as well as boys beginning in 1976.
John Mickey was the group’s advisor, which began with six or seven members. The group’s goal was to raise money for high adventure trips such as white water canoeing. Post members sold candy and food, hosted dinners and sold Christmas trees. They raised enough money for several trips at no cost to the young men and women who were members of the post.
Post members took their first trip to the Green River in Utah in May, 1976. The group included Bill Focke, Kevin Finley and Mark Leitner as well as their advisor, John Mickey. They used the Boy Scout Troop 121 canoes and traveled to Utah in Billy Horton, III’s van.
Led by Bill Focke, the Post grew to twenty members by the fall of 1976. The group worked hard all winter and achieved their goal of traveling to Lake Powell in May 1977. The Lake Powell trip included overnight stays in Denver and a vacant school in Grand Junction. The group stayed three nights on a rented house boat on Lake Powell where they enjoyed water skiing, sunbathing, fishing and shopping in the cities. The group was chaperoned by John and Betty Mickey, Steve Finley and Anita Weishapl (now Finley).
The group set bigger goals for 1977-78. They raised funds to buy three canoes and travel to Canada. The Atwood Rotary Club furnished a fourth canoe. The Canada excursion included stops at Turtle Mountain on the U.S.-Canada border, Duck Mountain on Singush Lake and Winnipeg where the group swam at the Pan Am Pool. On the last night of the trip, the boys surprised the girls with a paddle boat ride, music and dancing on the Red River.
Post members traveled to Silver Dollar City in 1979. The group stayed at Roaring River State Park where they canoed, fished and explored caves. Post members went to Worlds of Fun amusement park and a Royals baseball game in Kansas City on their trip home. The group took its last trip in 1980. They visited the Black Hills including stops at Sylvan Lake, Passion Play, Mount Rushmore and a gold mine in Deadwood.
Explorer Post 121 received the Nation Honor Unit Recognition award in 1978 and 1979.
Submitted by John Mickey
I have known my father-in-law John Mickey (we call him Johnson) a good five to ten years longer than I’ve known my wife, Joni.
Johnson was an active scout leader when I was a boy. My first clear memory of him was at a scout campout at Crystal Springs. It was October 11, 1975. I remember the date because it was my birthday.
Johnson cooked a pineable upside down cake in an old dutch oven. He is and was a good cook, even on a campfire. I was given the first piece in honor of my day.
I took a bite, which included lots of pineapple. I said thanks and headed back toward my tent to let the other boys know the cake was ready. I walked right past the door of the tent and ducked behind the back. That’s where I dumped the remains of the cake. Yuck. I have never had pineapple upside down cake again.
Johnson was great to have on campouts even if I didn’t appreciate his confections. He laughed. He joked. He was loud. All the things that young boys enjoy.
When I started dating Joni, he was just as I had remembered him from Scouts. Enthusiastic. Jovial. And, of course, loud. We got along great even though we had very little in common. Johnson was and is a passionate outdoorsman. Let’s just say, I’m not.
Joni and I were very young when we decided to get engaged. I was 24, midway through my first year of graduate school. Joni was a junior at Kansas State and not yet 21. Matt Cunningham helped me plan a romantic dinner on the Plaza in Kansas City of which I remember very little, except that I ate my meal in less than 2 minutes.
Joni and I were nervous to tell our parents our news. We weren’t sure how they would respond.
We called ahead from a payphone on our way home from eastern Kansas. We asked my parents to join us at the Mickey’s. My parents clearly knew something was up because my Dad arrived with champagne. Betty was surprised to see the bottle and became nervous with anticipation.
We made our announcement. My Dad popped the cork. Betty was surprised. Johnson was silent.
Later that night, Johnson and I settled on the couch in the living room to watch a little TV. Joni and her mom were in the kitchen. My parents had gone home. It was just the two of us.
I had never, in all my years before or since, experienced an uncomfortable silence with Johnson. That night the tension was thick as molasses. Johnson didn’t speak for 10, 15, nearly 30 minutes. He just sat there looking straight ahead at the television.
I was getting nervous. Was he mad? Was he disappointed? Did he disapprove?
At long last, he turned his head in my direction and asked the rhetorical question I’ll never forget. “You don’t fish much do you?”