• Russ Newton

A very nice letter from a young man. Zach Johnson.

I met Zach Johnson very early in his life. I recall we babysat for him when he was a year or so old in Orlando, Florida. Zach is the youngest son of Jeff and Melissa Johnson. Jeff was very important to my career. So in 2013 we purchased a house in Wisconsin to retire to and to give Sue ( ex-wife) a place to stay in the summer and be around her family and friends. So I was still in LA working and when the Johnson's approached me about Zach living with me for the summer when Jeff had taken a job in San Francisco. We had a five bedroom house and over 3400 square feet. there was plenty of room I agreed right away.

So below is a letter I copied into this blog. A very nice letter from a very impressive young man.

Here it is.


I 'm sorry for how long it took me to write this. I have a sabbatical from work & have been traveling a lot, My dad (Jeff Johnson) says it's unfair I got a sabbatical after four years of work. I think he is half kidding. I wanted to write this letter to let you know how much of an impact you have had on my life. When my parents sold our house in La Canada I understood. My dad worked a job he hated to allow me to finish high school. Something I am forever grateful for. But I was heartBroken. Los Angeles is my home, all my friends were there. I was so sad of the thought of not being able to come home for one last summer.

Then my mom told me she spoke to you & that I could live with you for the summer. It felt as if my prayers had been answered & you were my guardian angel. You were so kind & and friendly. You let me use the master. You gave me food. You gave me life tips, I still use today (Tin foil on cooking tray, less cleanup) You gave me countless memories with some of my best friends, something that is truly priceless. To this day I cannot drink a summer shandy without thinking about you. My friend all appreciated the kindness you allowed in giving our youth an extra 3 months. I remember drinking beers on the couch with you & a few friend's, after we compromised on you letting me have 2 friends over.

It truly felt like a summer they write about in movies. I cannot express how thankful I am for you & your kindness. You gave me the best summer of my life.

My girlfriend & I pray for you often. What you are going through is so unfair. The bravery you show everyday is incredible. I have & and continue to learn so much from you. Please know you will live on in my heart forever. The kindness & generosity you showed one will never be forgotten. My children and their children will know the story of my guardian angel.

With love, Zach.

Now that was a nice letter to receive. And while he doesn't know it, one of my biggest concerns is being forgotten. I picked this up in one of the books I read. As long as someone remembers you, you will continue to exist on this earth. So thank you Zack for the very nice letter. I brings me great comfort in return for almost zero effort on my part. God bless you.

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