Bennie Johnson and his siblings
(Donald's father and paternal uncles and aunts)
Top: George (3 photos); age 18 in middle photo.
Middle: Bennie (2 photos); Inga
Bottom left: Olga
Bottom right: Olga, Anna, Inga
Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:
"When he was 17, Pa left home with 35 cents in his pocket and worked for a farmer (Frank Herman) for a while. He stayed there alone once when the family went on a visiting trip to Minnesota. They had two young dogs, a Shepherd and a big St. Bernard that they used on a treadmill to run a cream separator. The only way he could fill up the dogs was to boil a big kettle of potatoes with the jackets on and they would clean up the whole works."
"Mr. Herman carved the chicken at the table and he had a system for having the part he liked best left until last. First he would cut off the neck and say, 'I'm going to have the neck.'
"All the kids would holler for the neck. Then he would do the same with the wings and all the other parts he didn't like. After the kids had hollered for necks and wings, he had all the best parts left for himself." [2.2-3]
"Mr. Herman went to the World's Fair in Chicago in 1890 and said when he was there he bought a glass of lemonade for a nickel. When it was gone he tipped his head way back to get the ice in his mouth because it was so hot there. The lemonade vendor hollered, 'I sold you the lemonade, but not the ice!'" [2.2-5]