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March 17th, 2010
Bill Johnson next up in oral history screenings

SUBMITTED REPORT

Local author, historian and community leader Bill Johnson shares memories and anecdotes about the town of Wimberley in the newest oral history presentation by the Hays County Historical Commission.

Bill and M.F. Johnson

During the interview, which was conducted by commission member Clemmie New, Johnson talks about his earliest memories of Wimberley, when he helped his grandfather, T. C. Johnson, clear cedar stumps on their Blue Hole property. He shares stories about many prominent figures from Wimberley’s early days, including Buck and Kitty Winn, Clarence and Pansy Burdette, Joe Cruze, Raymond Czichos, sisters Artie and Gussie Montague, Carl Scudder and Susie Danforth.

Other topics in the video include Johnson’s service in World War II, when he was wounded at Iwo Jima; the town’s early schools; the first Market Days on the square, initiated by Johnson’s mother; and the volunteer spirit of Wimberley that, in Johnson’s view, sets it apart from other towns in the county. “Wimberley is a group of good, tough people–the basic Wimberleyite –and we’re working on training the newcomers and teaching them that this town is worth fighting for,” Johnson explains.

Johnson also talks about meeting his wife, M.F., at the University of Texas and recalls highlights of their life together in Wimberley, including the financial struggles they and many others had in the drought-plagued decade of the 1950’s.

“Voices of Hays County” is an ongoing project of the historical commission. Richard Kidd is the videographer for the series and Bonnie Eissler is the project chairman and sound technician. The March 21 screening is open to the pubic and refreshments will be served.

— SHELLEY HENRY

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