Curt Johnson passed away last week [Edit – As a matter of fact, Mr. Johnson passed away May 26]. Jan just found out from our friend, Lucille, who lives in Oklahoma.
Curt (I think he would be ok with me using his first name) lived in the old ghost town of Hogshooter, Oklahoma, between Nowata and Bartlesville. Born in Missouri, he was a champion auctioneer as a young boy and later in life worked as an International Water Systems Manager for Reda Pump Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. In this position he covered over 100 countries and lived in seven of them. He retired to Oklahoma and about a dozen years ago started writing a weekly article called Hogshooter Philosopher for the Nowata Star and the Chronicle of Grand Lake.
Lucille would clip out these articles and send them and other printed items to us every so often. Some of you may remember that we had family and friends in NE Oklahoma. When these good people passed away our trips down there came to an end. The articles helped Lucille maintain contact with us. They were appreciated.
Curt was down to earth and his topics were wide ranging, from local to national events, to his own life, recent and past. He retold stories and jokes and wrote about any subject that was triggered by something he had seen or heard.
He had an interest in outlaws of NE Oklahoma from about a century ago and wrote a book on them and their various exploits. I have a copy and love reading about the places of which I have first hand knowledge. Law abiding knowledge….
I wrote to him a couple of times, at first just to tell him how much I enjoyed his columns and the second,… well, I don’t recall right now. He wrote back after my second letter, gracious in his thanks. I had hoped to meet him some day, but now that meeting will be a bit delayed.
In a small way I owe him a big debt of thanks. It’s like this. Writing something for the public can be difficult and putting a good close on it can be hard. He always ended his columns with the same easy two word sign off. I loved it so much that I used it myself.
So in memory I raise a water bottle to Curt, a friend I never met.
I hope you’ll join me.