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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A St. Helens Hero

Now I have to say that there is officially a website devoted to every person that has ever been in the spotlight! I just happened to be googling names of some of the people that has had any kind of impact in my life, and one of the names I googled was David Johnston (just a word of caution, if you try this with the same guy, be sure to type "David A. Johnston". Otherwise, all you get is some useless information about an old fart with almost the same name). The last thing I ever expected to find was an entire site devoted to him! He was a little bit of a celebrity, but a rather mediocre one. It's sad that he was only a mediocre celebrity, but that's what he was. The problem was he was taken way too early. His career was basically just getting started. But it was Mount St. Helens that made him somewhat popular. What was also surprising was seeing how many people wrote on that site and said that David Johnston was some kind of inspiration to them. That's way cool!! I thought I was the only one left (besides Anna, who is also a great admirer).

He was taken way too soon! He should have been around a lot longer. No doubt he could have been the voice of volcanology! I didn't mention that I even wrote a story with him in it. I didn't want to. Though it would have been great advertising for UMG Productions. I don't know though. Some of the people who posted to that site had close relations with him. One guy who posted even said he went to the same high school with him, and even had him in a couple of his classes! I don't want people like that reading that story, and believing it to be true! LOL! Besides, the UMG Productions site is still down. I am waiting for my partner to show up! He's supposed to help build it! But I haven't seen him since before the holidays, and then he wasn't feeling good. If I did go there and advertise that story, I'd like those people to be able to find it easily. The pics I made of him, I'm really proud of them! Most of them came out great, and look just like him. I say "most of them" because even someone like me falters a bit. LOL! I'm more embarrassed of the pics I made of myself than the ones I made of Mr. Johnston. hehehe! I think it's because I portrayed myself as a young, thin woman, and I am not that young, thin woman anymore. If you saw the drawings, you'd know what I'm talking about.

Well, when I first wrote that story back in 1997, I was that young, thin woman, though I was not a teenager, I was in my 20s. I remember preparing for writing that story. I had to make myself feel what the characters feel. In the story, Candi (that's me) has a teenage crush on David Johnston, and becomes sort of his groupie. When I first began that story, I had her hate him in the beginning, and later learn to like him. But then I thought, wait! That kinda makes David Johnston seem like an evil person, and I know he was not! I didn't want anyone to read that and think he was in any way evil! So I changed the plot. Well, when I was preparing for this story, that was when I noticed he was kinda cute. It made creating the plot so much easier. I didn't think much of him back when I was a kid, because well, I was just a kid! But had I been in my right mind back then, I'm sure I would have thought he was one of the most handsome men I've ever seen. I'd like to say he had charisma, but since people nowadays have begun using that word to describe such things as lions and tigers, it must not be a good thing to have. So I won't say that. But he was awesome in many ways!

I don't grieve for David Johnston. There are some things that I believe are tragic, such as the fact he was taken way too soon, and he is mostly just a mediocre celebrity that few people, outside of the St. Helens area, know about or even think about. But I do not grieve for him. He died doing what he loved to do, and my belief is that he is now up in Heaven. And when he arrived there, he had the biggest smile on his face that St. Peter had ever seen! To me, there is no higher honor than to die doing what you love. One has to admire him for that. I know he must have been one of the first to see the start of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, but I doubt he felt any fear. Although I had heard he was terrified of Mount St. Helens. His last words reflected a sense of amazement, not fear. His famous last words were "Vancouver, Vancouver! This is it!" (Vancouver was the geology base department he worked for at the time). I have a documentary on DVD that plays the actual recording of his last words, and the tone I got from hearing them, is more attuned to excitement and astonishment. Nowhere in his voice is there any sign of fear. If there was any fear, you would have heard a break in his voice, or some sign of weakness. But there is none of that.

Well, I've known David Johnston to be a lot of things, but I never thought of him as a hero. Until now. This site calls him a "St. Helens hero", because he helped get people away from the mountain (that's how we met him). I remember seeing my father chit-chatting with this tall, blond man, and soon after he came and told us we had to head back home. We had just got there and Anna and I were crawling around on the logs and boulders with some other kids. We were just having fun. Didn't think about the mountain about to erupt or anything. In that sense, David Johnston was a hero. After reading that site, I should thank him for turning us away. It is because of him that Anna and I are here now.
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