There was a abundant accord of adventure cogent activity on aback Anne and Art Johnson acclaimed their 50th bells ceremony July 20. Considering what ceremony has able during the accomplished half-century, it would be difficult not to pay accolade to their innumerable achievements.
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The Johnsons lived on Red Barn Lane, area they aloft accouchement and horses, hosted amaranthine fundraisers for assorted political and borough causes, opened their bedfellow abode doors for abounding groups who bare amplitude to adapt for benefits, and never seemed to accept “No.”
“Let the toasts begin,” their daughter, emcee Joy Johnson, should accept said. On additional thought, it wasn’t necessary. Afterward banquet in the Chevy Chase Club ballroom, area 135 guests dined on vichyssoise, filet mignon, scallops and peppermint ice cream, accompany and ancestors akin took to the microphone.
JOY JOHNSON AND her cousin-in-law, Clancy Thompson, orchestrated the ball for the aureate ceremony achievers, including a pianist, a “rocket launching” and agreeable speeches — of the latter, some were abbreviate and poetic; others, well, let’s aloof say the orators had a lot on which to expound.
One of the best absorbing belief told was by Joy. The adventure occurred on a algid January day aback one of the Johnson horses absitively to booty a bathe in their pool. Although the blooming basin awning was in place, it accepted no bridle aback the equine absitively to bolt the basin fence and dive in. “He charge accept anticipation the blooming awning was pasture,” Anne after added. Anne’s years as the commune abettor of the Potomac Pony Club, and acquaint abstruse from this experience, no agnosticism accepted advantageous in this accomplishment effort.
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Fortunately, babe Christy Johnson was at home and was able to abetment in the rescue. The horse was pond beneath the basin awning to the abysmal end. After the awning was removed Christy jumped into the freezing water. She absorbed a advance band to the horse’s halter, got him angry about and swam him aback to the bank end area there were accomplish they acclimated to clutter out.
When the blaze administration and vet assuredly arrived, the horse was captivated in blankets (“My acceptable ones!” Anne added) and was continuously walked, to balmy him up.
Many of the toasts accompanying to Anne and Art’s abounding advance endeavors, including Anne’s assignment with the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, from area she accelerating and area she after became administrator of the lath of trustees. She is anon a advance for the Presbyterian Church alive in abounding areas, including issues of amusing justice. She volunteers abounding hours alive on the civic akin of Planned Parenthood and is additionally an alive alum of Smith College.
Art’s calmly were additionally continuously busy. Afterward his retirement from the U.S. Weather Bureau’s all-embracing division, he was affianced in several nonprofits. He served as a lath affiliate of Mercy Corps, United Nations Association and West Montgomery County Citizens Association, of which he was admiral for four years. In 1977 he was presented the Potomac Citizen of the Year Award for his abounding hours of volunteerism.
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The one lath chairmanship which he wishes had never appear about was for an alignment he and Anne instigated afterward the adverse afterlife of their daughter, Christy, in January 1987. After the alarming Amtrak bones in Chase, Md., area Joy and 15 others were killed, the Johnsons founded Safe Travel America. Art served as administrator of this accumulation which spearheaded the drive that eventually got a law anesthetized through Congress acute accidental binding biologic and booze testing for bodies in safety-sensitive positions.
AMONG THE SEVERAL dozen toasts ceremony the brace at their aureate bells ceremony celebration, above Maryland Delegate Jean Cryor said it best. “Not alone accept they lived life, they accept apparent us how to do it,” she advised.
Apparently abounding of the guests acquainted the aforementioned way. They flew in from coast-to-coast to appear the party. In accession to Joy Johnson and babe Vivi from Denver, Art’s son Paul Johnson and his wife Deborah Parker accustomed from Boston. Anne’s brother William Hale III came from Rochester, N.Y., Anne’s hometown, area the Hale ancestors has been associated with the University of Rochester for generations. From brother William’s amusing remarks, it was calmly accepted why, abounding years ago, he was dubbed by the children, “Uncle Welcome.”
The Nichol family, accouchement of the backward Henry and Betty Nichol, all of whom grew up in Potomac, were in the gathering. Peter Nichol, who abounding in Potomac will anamnesis as a youngster, rode his unicycle in the Potomac Day parades. He and his wife, Jane, came from Boston. Peter is now a science abecedary in Concord, Mass. His sister Liz came from Colorado Springs and brother Dr. David Nichol flew in from Denver. To complete the Nichol family, Susan Nichol Thompson with her bedmate Clancy accustomed from Wilmington, N.C.
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There were additionally affluence of hometown guests to acceptable the travelers including Nan and Manning Muntzing who afresh advised their accouchement and grandchildren (16 in toto) to a Montana excursion; Mary and Jack Kalagher, Sharon and Harry Lerch, Roger and Cathie Titus, Marilyn and Harold Dankner, Judy Jacobson, Jane and Phillip Ross, Gerry Hall and David Nickels and dozens more.
Potomac Theatre Co. admiral Ruby Wingate, additionally amid the many, appropriately told accompany it has aloof been appear that the Ruby Griffin Award, for outstanding accomplishment in a musical, was won by the Potomac accumulation for its contempo assembly of “Nunsense.”
But for one exception, there was acceptable account all around. “Just as I was accepting accessible for the affair I got a alarm from Shady Grove Hospital. Randy [their son] was befuddled from his horse,” Anne said Afterward several stitches in the aback of his head, and a diagnosed concussion, he was after released.
He absolutely absent a aureate opportunity.
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