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  • Writer's pictureRuss 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.


Russ,


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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alma.perallon
23 nov 2021

oh my goodness ! that is SO MUCH MORE than a nice letter. Russ you have touched many lives I'm sure of it and I know you will be remembered by many, I know so because I will. sometimes not everyone has a way with words to express that you have made an impact or touched their life in someway. You should no longer be concerned about being remembered. sending tons of hugs and prayers, Alma

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Russ Newton
Russ Newton
23 nov 2021
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Alma,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. That is such a nice thing for you to say. I was living by myself when Zach came to stay. My wife was in our dream retirement home in Wisconsin and I was lonely. So that is how it looked from my side, a cure for being alone, not me trying to do anything else.

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