At the end of the day Kevin took
his new Hot Rod Wheelchair for a run down the track.
Ron and Connie after
Ron Johnson and Steve
Gibbs - JOB WELL DONE
These are by accounts the last
photos taken of Ron Johnson. He will always live in our hearts
and minds. RIP Big Yohns.
Maybe his very old friend, "TV
Tommy" Ivo summed it up best,
I've known Ron since 1960, at
the very start of my first tour, when I went to Minnesota drag
strip for a big two day race. And his job was to haul me all
over town to various news paper, TV and radio stations to promote
the race for the better part of a week. And I wore out his poor,
poor ears, talking his head off while we drove from place to
place. But over that week we got to be really good friends and
that has gone now for almost 60 years after that. One thing that
really stands out the my mind with him, was when we had the Barnstormer
running in 2007, at it's first cacklefest at the Bakersfield
CHRR Reunion. And when we shut off the engine and I'd gotten
out of the car. He gave me this HUGH, meaningful bear hug and
we hopped around on one foot and another. Like a couple of 12
year old kids, that had just won a baseball tournament. I think
what was the most genuinely happy I'd ever seen him!!!
Then when I was getting ready
to get in to the Barnstormer for the grand finale fire up at
Barona. I saw him sitting in his wheel chair off to the side
and I grabbed the opportunity with both paws and walked over
to him and said. Who would've thought in 1960, that on down the
road over all these years. We would have had so many grand adventures
together. And here we are, topping it off tonight at this "Ron
Johnson Spectacular Event", that he and Steve put together
so nicely. And he reached up and gave me a pinch in the cheek.
that had the same meaningful feeling in it that bear hug had
a decade ago. And gave him a tip of head solute that he returned
to me and we fired up the Barnstormer and ran it till the fuel
tank went dry. You couldn't write the last scene in a "Feel
good movie" that could say it any better than that. And
I'll keep that warm feeling in my heart for the rest of my days.
See you on the other side my old friend.
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