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I was born at Florence Nightingale Hospital, now Baylor University Medical Center, in Dallas on July 16, 1945, in the afternoon of the day that saw the first atomic explosion in Alamogorda, NM, in history. For a long while during my 54 years on this earth, I would say that I was born with the BOMB and would probably die with it. It appears now that won't be the case. My ancestry includes such notable figures as a connection to Cynthia Ann Parker and Quannah Parker who were the subjects of a John Wayne movie "The Searchers" about a white girl captured by Commanches who married an Indian Chief; Joan of Arc, and a cousin to LBJ. I was born to W.J. ("Dub") and Nadine Johnson and weighed in at a robust 3-1/2 pounds. My mother had a lot of trouble with me and had lost several previous babies. However, I grew and was able to come home at a few weeks of age to our house in East Dallas near Tennison Park and White Rock Lake.

When I was 5 years old, I lost my Father to a massive coronary. He had been ill much of my early years and I remember only very few things about him. A tape was made of some old movies of him before I was born that tells me some things about him that I recently had made. He seemed to be a jolly man with a good sense of humor who loved to have fun and cook and play golf.

After my father died, I grew up with my Mother without any brothers or sisters. She never really dated until I was grown but devoted her life to me and her music. She had a degree in Music from S.M.U. in Dallas and taught piano at home and on the road at her students' homes. She was devoted to the music and sometimes I had to fend for myself in getting my food and such. We got our first TV, a black-and-white circular screen Philco when I was 6 years old. Prior to that, I would listen to an old standup radio in my room with Amos'n'Andy, Suspense Theater, and Burns and Allen being the entertainment. Radio and TV were my company in the early years I remember.

I went to Mt. Auburn Elementary in 1951; to J.L. Long Jr. High and Woodrow Wilson High School which were all nearby my home on Valencia and walked to school daily. I was a part time piano student of my mother and played in Band as a clarinetist from Junior High through High School. I was also in the ROTC in High School, photographer for the Annual Staff, stage manager for the Little Theater group. I would say that I was mildly popular and had some dates with girls but not an overwhelming number. I began being interested in girls when I was 8 and it continues today at 52! My first girlfriend was DeeAnna Lightfoot, a drop-dead gorgeous girl who lived two doors up from me on Valencia. I have no idea what happened to her!

My first close encounter of the fifth kind came in High School with a black-haired young lady in some apartments near my home. She was actually 15 but acted much older. She seduced me while her folks were gone and they were gone a lot of the time.....I think he name was Linda.

I dated a young girl in high school whose parents lived in a mansion on Swiss Ave. with what seemed then to be thousands of rooms. I remember she was named Cherry and the garage was full of formula sports cars and hydroplanes. Her Dad was a local photographer of note.

In the summer of 1963, I graduated from my high school and prepared to enter college at then East Texas State College, now Texas A&M at Commerce. During that summer, though, I began by moving away from home living in luxury at the Four Seasons apartment in Dallas. It had four swimming pools, a private club, and a helicopter port on top of one of the roofs. It was inhabited by Dallas Cowboy football players and airline stewardesses who worked at Love Field. I was wild and impetuous at the time. Many wonderful times were these in the summer of '63 with beer and champagne coming out of kitchen sink taps! Got to know some of the boyz, too!

I moved into my dorm in Commerce which housed four guys to a unit apartment with bath, kitchenette, living room and two bedrooms each with a desk. My roommate was a former Aggie (6 feet tall, Aggie haircut, false teeth, black glasses and loved AGGIELAND?); others were a big guy who was an art major; a neat fellow who I love today who was a psychology and sociology major. All were sophomores and I was the "fish." The Aggie tried to get me to wear a beanie, but I refused and my other roommates ganged up on him for such foolishness. There are many stories about some of the screwy times we had as roommates and some of the sneaky things that went on in the dorms of West Halls in ETSU.