April 22, 2024
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   Robert Johnson is a fairly new member at the Muleshoe Senior Citizen’s Center. In fact, just last week he was selected Vice President of our Senior Citizen’s Board of Directors. It has often been said that the purpose of life is a life with purpose. That is the best phrase to use to introduce you to Robert. I have known this man for quite some time and whatever he does, he works at it with all of his heart.

            I am now the wife of a former farmer. I found this in one of his books titled “Today is Mine.” It read, “A farmer laid desperately ill in a hospital. For weeks he struggled between life and death, much of that time in a coma. One day, he regained consciousness and asked his nurse what time it was. She replied, “It is Springtime and nature is bursting forth with renewed vigor.” “Springtime,” said the farmer. “Then I can’t die now for it is time to plant.”” I believe Robert will be much like the old farmer and double his force at our center. He is one to take charge, make some changes, and do so with success. After all, success requires action and there is no doubt that Robert will provide that action as needed.

            Robert was born in Lamesa, Texas. Actually, he was born seven miles outside of Lamesa on a dry land cotton farm. He spent several years working in Adrian, Gruver, and Ballinger managing cotton and grain elevators. He then retired and moved to Muleshoe to manage the Farmers Coop there. Robert is definitely a well educated individual. Whatever he is involved in, Robert wants to learn as much as he can and do his very best. In an effort to do so, he has attended various colleges: Chicago College of Transportation, Merriman Business College, Clovis Community College, and Eastern New Mexico University.

            Robert married Aubrey Ann Elliott Johnson on February 24th, 1962. He and Ann have four children. Craig, their oldest son is an RN in Lubbock. His other son, Chris, works here in Muleshoe for Five Area Telephone. He has a daughter named Suzanne who worked as a Bookkeeper but is now retired. She lives in San Angelo, Texas. Their youngest daughter is Sharon who came to Muleshoe in the first grade and graduated from Muleshoe. She now works as the school nurse in her hometown and also works for the Muleshoe EMTs. Robert and Ann were eager to let me know that they now have 13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

            Robert is definitely a Christian man. He had membership in various churches. He told me he taught Sunday School at every church where he had been a member. He also served as a deacon in those various churches and is now a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Muleshoe. Robert was a mason at the Masonic Lodge in Lubbock. He was also a member of the Lion’s Club. One thing he was most proud of was that he was President of the Royal Ambassadors at the Southern Baptist Church in Lubbock when he was only 12 years old.

            With what I have told you so far, you may be thinking that Robert must not have had any time for hobbies. But that is not true. Robert has various hobbies. He loves woodworking. He is a great photographer. He loves to play his guitar and he is an avid reader. His wife, Ann told me, “If any book he picks up has a horse, a gun, or a lawyer in it—Robert is going to read it.”

            After talking with Robert about his past, I asked him some very personal questions. One was “What were your goals as a young man?” He fired back with these three answers, “1. To make myself successful enough to be a good example for my wife and children. 2.To make sure we raised our children to be “good kids” as they grew up. 3. To make enough money for our family to be comfortable.”

            I then asked Robert, “What is the funniest thing that ever happened to him?” Now here is his version of that story. “Ann and I were members at the Calvary Baptist Church. This particular Sunday, we were all to bring a dish for our Thanksgiving Dinner. Ann, of course, made several dishes. As they got out of the car, everyone had something in their hands. So, Ann told Robert that after he parked the car, he was to bring in the remaining dish, which was a huge bowl of fruit salad. Ann’s last words were “Just don’t drop it!” After Robert parked, he picked up his huge salad bowl and headed toward the fellowship hall. On his way, Robert dropped the bowl of salad. It spilled out onto the ground which was covered with gravel. Robert looked around and saw no one. So, he took he hands and scooped the salad back into the bowl, cleaned it up and put it on the serving table. He was so sure he had got away with it and Ann would never know.           

            As they began eating, their daughter-in-law (Adena) ran up to Ann and said, “Where is your fruit salad bowl?” Ann showed her and Adena immediately threw the whole thing in the trash. Robert knew he was in trouble when Ann asked Adena why she would do such a thing? Adena answered, “I just took a big bite of it from someone else’s plate and I now have gravel all in my teeth.”” Ann and Robert then agreed that he would never be asked again to carry food bowls anywhere.

            As I was waiting for Robert to come to my home for the interview, I received a phone call from Mark Pilman. He and his wife, Marge, are members of our center and have been for several years. Mark wanted me to ask Robert these two questions. First, “What do you plan to bring to the Center? And how do you plan to improve the Center?” Robert’s response to the first question was that he would bring his ability to work closely with SPAG and follow their rules and regulations. He added that he would also bring his knowledge of record keeping, and money management. He then acknowledged that he would also bring his continued learning of the Center’s operations, reviewing what has been successful in the past, including activities, entertainment, meal management, special events, and fundraisers.His response to the second question was that he would immediately start working to get our Center back on a sound, financial condition. He also said he would work on getting our number of members back up to what they once were.

            Robert’s wife Ann has always been one to help with the Center’s various activities. She is President of the Muleshoe Art Association. She and her members come to the Center to provide art classes to those who are interested. Ann is a great pianist and she also plays the pipe organ—(no easy task)! She too has baked many cakes for our bake sale fundraisers. She is also in charge of the annual Art Association’s show! It, too, is now held at the Senior Center.

            Danny Ray once said, “Life is a great big canvas and we should throw all the pain on it that we can.” Every time I see or hear this, I think of Ann. She can “throw more paint” than anyone I have ever known and she just keeps right on keeping on! Thank you Ann for all you have done for our Center. There is no doubt that you and Robert will be a great asset to the Bailey County Senior Citizen’s Center!

Carolyn Turner


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