Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Friend David Johnson

When I was five years old my mother thought it would be good for me to have a playmate in the neighborhood. She knew of a lady with a boy close to my same age (twelve days older). His name was David Johnson. We began going to each other's houses to play and then went to Kindergarten together. After that first year my family moved to another part of town and I only saw David occasionally. When we were in the fourth or fifth grade his family moved across the street from us and we were best friends all the way through High School graduation.

We did Cub Scouts, Webalos, and Boy Scouts together. David's dad and my dad were our Webalos leaders. We made wooden tool boxes together and formed a Webalos choir we performed songs from the Dennis the Menace song book like "I hate spelling" and "Some day I'll fly to the moon".
We went to Lost Valley Scout camp together. David threw up in my lap on the way to camp. We learned to have a barf bag any time we went somewhere. When we were 13 we hiked part of the John Muir Trail with our troop and our Scout Master Bob Bowe. When we were 14 we back packed the Three Sisters area in central Oregon with our Varsity Leader Bill Schackly. We were on the wrestling team together in High School. We spent two or three days a week in the summer body surfing at the beach. David had a movie camera and we made goofy movies together. We played endless games of Monopoly and Risk. We pretty much spent most of our childhood together. David is not a member of the church but we went to all the Stake Dances together and his first girl friend, Elaine Bowden he met at the dances. When we were a little older and had our drivers licenses we would go on hiking adventures with our other friend Brad Myer. We went to Ojai and the Matilija Creek for three days. We climbed Mounts San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. One summer we hiked 105 miles of the John Muir trail for two weeks. We spent the better part of a year planning our route, getting maps and supplies and organizing the dried food.

After High School I went to BYU for a year and then on a mission for the church. David stayed in California and went to school. I ended up married and in Utah for a while and David moved to the Seattle area. For years we would exchange Christmas letters. David's usually included a photo of himself on some mountain peak in the Cascades.

David is now married (just last year). His wife has two children ages 16 and 19. They were vacationing in Tahoe and he looked me up. When he walked into my office, I though it was his dad at first. We had plenty to talk about and really enjoyed the time together. We performed "I hate spelling" for Marla. We both remembered all the words. Went flying in the Musketeer. I had forgotten of David's weak stomach so it was a short and easy flight with no problems or messes to clean up. Then we talked about a little bit of everything. It's interesting how when you get older there is a desire to rekindle old friendships and how easy it is to pick up where you left off. We promised to keep in closer touch. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures.