The Johnson Journals, Chapter 170

Don Johnson’s Letters and Journals

Part 170

• Don has good luck fishing

• Don, Layna and Karen have dinner at Rainy Lake Lodge

• Don sees Love Rides the Rails

6/7/66 Waves pounding into NWI. Layna and I wonder what would happen if a northeaster came in on our dock like that, now that it is almost under water. Bill Fredrickson here for try out as dock boy. Young, but willing.

6/8/66 Little Sheila worming her way into the hearts of all at NWI. She is a gem.

6/10/66 Had chance to talk to Eldon Johnson about BCC and he seems happy. Well, he should be, he has survived much longer than many of his cohorts. It must do something for ones ego to pull thru when so many others fail. Russ Allen, secretary of Timber Producers Assn. joined us tonight. Looks good.

6/11/66 The purpose of this trip was to “sell” BCC position on Park to group of newspaper men. That is not entirely true. Maybe I should say it was to show appreciation for what these particular men have done - and hope they will do. I got peed off when Einar Karlstrand implied that the local yokels needed education concerning the Park. NUTS!

6/12/66 Karen in for a long talk at bed time. She is a bit confused in that Dick has asked her to go to Mexico in late summer. We did not try to make up her mind but both Layna and I let her know that any decision she made would not bring out a cry from us. She is thinking all the way and I am for her - no matter what.

6/13/66 To be honest with myself, I have to admit I have been a bit concerned over how Mr. Farmer of the Coast Guard would inspect the aids to navigation in my care. When he was here last October, I sized him up as a stickler for details - and maybe some kind of a jerk. In the 25 years I have worked on this job no one has ever shown a great deal of interest in it. “Now what?” thot I. Well, it is over tonight and I would say Johnson passed with flying colors. He had a hard time finding anything wrong. He had allotted two days for the job and we finished in one.

6/14/66 To Mando with MacKellar, Campbell and Vaughn and 3 Canadian paper people from Quebec. Murray Savage, a repeater from 10 years ago, and I remembered him well. One of the all time standout guests.

6/16/66 We sat and talked until midnight, mostly about French-Canadian problem. I learned much.

6/17/66 Home to find Layna going like hell. People coming and going. Big Irv Olson full of talk concerning plans for next year. Maybe says I - but it sounds like the real dope.

6/19/66 A memorable day on two counts (1) Took 4 of island guests to church with Layna. As we approached the steps, with many Catholics near, I spotted Father Upson. I shouted across the street from the car window, “Father, I have four customers for you!” Without a second’s hesitation, he answered “Have they any money?” I replied, “They are loaded!” He took good care of them. (2) To airport to meet people and met Curtice. He did not notice us. Met Buck who said “I caught my boss in a trap this morning.” He went on to say that His Majesty had had Buck dig some holes at their parking lot in preparation for putting in a gate. He backed into one! How happy Layna and I felt!

6/20/66 After dinner, Gerry, Bill and I out for 45 minutes with fly rods and got 5 fish. A most enjoyable experience to be out with those fine men without listening to the griping of disgruntled guests. Cliff Larson not gaining in intelligence and I wonder how BCC has not caught up with him. A typical question, asked at dinner table, “Don, when does the blueberry season open?” I told him “July 14, at 7:00 a.m.”

6/21/66 Barney Savage, an ex-Celotexer in my boat in p.m. He brought me up to date on many people I had not heard of since 1945.

6/22/66 Layna full of talk - mostly trouble - Dado Crowe refused admission to U.S. because he was barred when he was 16 and never reinstated. Maybe something can be done. Layna taking all this right in her stride. What a gal! Her female help Bernice, Vi, Carol, Karen, Hazel, tops for sure. Grace Davey trying to cook up deal whereby BCC makes miniature multiple use park out of piece of land along river. She is pushing Buck for job of managing it. We went over to tell him. He is interested - so is Dale, so is Layna, so is Don. It has bothered me for years that such talent should be wasted on N.B. Curtice.

6/23/66 Saw Wagness and he told me that Capt. Martin had charged Dr. Sheldrup $50.00 to pilot boat up rapid. A day brightener for sure.

6/24/66 Hot and still most of day. Young Jean Camirand picked to run Davey’s boat. He is 16 years old but a real comer for sure. So was Art Lee at his age. I hope he doesn’t go that route. The last trip Karen made with old Chevy she had (1) a flat tire, (2) a broken radiator hose, (3) left key on so dead battery. Today I went in early and got it going. What next? She has a part in first Little Theater group. It is good for her. To Mando with Zimmerman and paper group, including John Nasseff.

6/25/66 Zim, in my boat and talking very sensibly about BCC. He is a good head.

6/27/66 To town by 1:45. Hung up at Bears Pass bridge by #340 tug. Many inane comments by guests such as “Why don’t they —-?” and “Why don’t you ——?” It is amazing that we made it. Home to island at 3 p.m. Dough Fairchild, from Duluth to see Karen. An excellent, talented photographer. The Dan Clarks at their island. We went to visit. Fun.

6/28/66 Had lunch with MacKellar. Much to talk about, and we did. McKelvie to get early retirement and it will be a relief to both Macs. We chewed the rag for 2 hours, covered many subjects. We are good for each other. Layna’s Karen’s day off so we went to Rainy Lake Lodge for dinner. Said Layna “I enjoyed it, even tho I paid for it myself.”

6/29/66 To Mando with Bob McCloy and PR group. Don Black only repeater. Jim Beatty new PR man out of Boise. A high class group - 4 of them editors of magazines. Much educational talk at table. Black and Beatty typical BCC personnel. 40 - 50 age bracket, great personalities - and smart. Black one of the originals having been acquired by company early. Beatty a newcomer. I don’t know who picks these men, but what ever the process, it is a good one.

6/30/66 Out at 5:30 a.m. with Jim Bob. We made the last cast at 10:15 p.m. A few hours respite in between. Conversation excellent. Beatty a dyed in the wool fisherman who has been everywhere and caught everything. Black has fished nothing but trout but knows his way around. Both high class men and I enjoyed the day despite the heat and hard paddling.

7/1/66 In Davey’s office at 1 p.m. when Buck came in. He is definitely interested in park job. Sure hope something develops. Told Davey that Bob Beatty was at staff house. He called and they will get together. This may not be part of my job but I think it can help Harry.

7/2/66 92 degrees - then a helluva storm! Sally, Jim and their kids and guests over from Dean’s at 7:30 to go for ride in cruiser. A yellow- green sky in west made me delay leaving. At 8 p.m., all hell broke loose. High winds and a continuous display of lightning. A 4.85 inch rain in next 3 hours. It slacked off a bit at 10 p.m. and Jean took them home. We were out in downpour until 11 p.m. bailing and securing boats. Karen’s show opened despite storm.

7/3/66 To see Love Rides the Rails. We had a helluva good laugh. Whole cast put on a fine performance. Daveys sat with us and I am sure they enjoyed it. To their house for drinks and much talk. Harry said Mabes Anderson had told him that she had taken the ADM account away from Layna for next year - THE BITCH! I am sorely tempted to start a counter rumor, it would not be hard, to the effect that she is taking over our Mando operation from BCC. I know I won’t - no guts.

7/5/66 Took cruiser to Jurgenson’s dock. Think, and hope it won’t cause more trouble for a while. Jurgenson (he looks like death warmed over and cannot drive) just bought a new Lincoln Continental. Retirement can’t be so bad. Well, I would not trade our Chevy (1962) and my health for their Lincoln and his health. (Sounds catty!)

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