Birdsview man nominated
For No. 1 Country
By Ingrid Meyer
On July 22, the
Concrete Herald announced a national contest by Country Magazine to find
No. 1 Country Character”. Bob
Johnson of Birdsview is Ingred Meyer’s
entry. Her Entry follows:
Dear people in Milwaukee
No. 1 Country Character Contest.
Many times when
I drive home from town, I stop at a small farmhouse on our country lane and
visit for a while with its owner.
Robert “Bob” Johnson.
It is his colorful personality, his mentality, his wit, his humor, his
character that makes me want to stop.
Bob was born on
February 1910 in Lyman, Skagit Valley,
Washington State. His parents came to the Pacific
Northwest from North Carolina
before he was born. His father
found work as a logger in this valley.
The family moved to Birdsview when Bob was 5 years old. Bob went to school here in Birdsview, a
small community of about 280 people.
When he was 15 years old he left home and started working, like his dad,
in the woods. His first job was as
a “whistle punk” with a local outfit and he continued to work all
his life in the forests around here.
He retired at the age of 65 and is now very busy with his trees, his garden and the upkeep of his house. He and his wife Marion often go on short
camping trips with good friends.
Bob is not a
very big or tall man, he is of small stature. His lean, thin face is wrinkled, telling
stories of hardship, work, enjoyment, humor and a lifetime of experience. There always seems to be a gleam dancing
in his blue eyes and the small crows feet surrounding the eyes are moving up and down and
sideways when he tells his stories, true ones and not so true ones!. His friendly mouth has an answer at hand
for any comment, question or discussion.
His brain works fast. Bob
must have a small box up in his head where he stores a lifetime of
knowledge. His hands are strong,
always busy. Now they are mending a
fence, then tending a flower or chopping wood. Bob is well-known and respected in our
small community, always lending a helping hand in people in need of just
wealth of stories and anecdotes seems to be endless; he remembers when the
Indians were traveling down the Skagit
River in canoes, hunting,
trading. He tells about times in the woods felling trees. He talks about how they were digging by
hand for wells to have running water in their homes and about the first
electricity in the 1940’s. He
also talks about his smart dog, who was always
rounding up his cattle, even when he had sold the herd. He had to show the dog the
bill–of-sales so he could understand that he couldn’t go after the
cattle anymore!! He is the only one
I know of who grows flat-bottom squashes in his garden; the vines grow so fast
and drag the squash over the ground!!
To mention one
of his hobbies; last year in August Bob went horseback riding with two of his
friends into the Pasayten Wilderness in the Cascade Mountains.
When he packed for the 7-day trip he was debating
whether he needed a tent or sleep under the stars. He opted for the stars and Jack Daniels!
My husband and
I have met many people during our travels around the world and in the USA, not one
can match our friend Bob Johnson.
It gives me
great pleasure to nominate my friend Robert “Bob” Johnson for
“America’s No. 1
Country Character” and I do hope you will take a little time to find out
more about this man. Here is his
address: Robert “Bob”
Johnson, 773 Wild Road,
Thank you and
greetings from Birdsview in the beautiful Skagit Valley!