Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Growing Up Leota: Goodbye John My Friend

Jesse Smith/YouTube Image
Jesse Smith/YouTube Image

He lived just down the gravel road a bit, a mile or two. If you pulled out of our little farm driveway and took a left, you’d motor on past Howard and Lorraine’s, Nelson and Grace’s, Morris and Dorothy’s.

There’s where he lived, right up there on the right. That was John and Esther’s place there, behind that little grove of trees. Yep, that’s where John and Esther and the boys lived back in the day.

They were more than just farmers, they were more than just neighbors. They were friends and in a very real sense, family. We visited warmly and often. John and Esther’s boys were boys I grew up with, laughed with, got into a little, uh…mischief with, shared secrets with and maybe even cried with a time or two.

For the 17+ years I lived there, they did too, just down that dusty gravel road. Me and them boys went to the little two-room school in town, then off to that bigger school in that bigger town. We all went to that little church together, every Sunday. We sat right over here, and they sat right over there. It was the same week after week after week.

Growing Up Leota: Mayberry By Another Name

There’s a comfort in the sameness of a small town. Call it a rut if you want. I call it family.

And then the years intrude, the clock and calendar comes knocking at the door and sweep us into another age, another decade or five and before you know it, the wrinkles that belonged to my Dad and to John and the others now live on my hands, my face.

And we look around, and they’re gone. Dad, Mom, Howard, Lorraine, Nelson, Grace, Morris, Dorothy. All those neighbors….no, friends and family…are gone.

And now, I say goodbye to John. I saw that John passed away, not a young man, but a man that was an important part of my life, my (as they say) formative years. I didn’t realize it at the time, but John was a friend of mine, even as he was ‘older’ and I was just a small town farm kid that played with his kids. I lost a friend, a friend who lived a great life and was loved, not only by his personal family, but by the family that was all of us around Leota and beyond.

So, perhaps selfishly, I think back about John and smile, laugh and remember. I was lucky to have John in my life, and I hope you have a ‘John’ in your life too.

If you do, you’re blessed.

See Also:

Subscribe to KMXC-FM / Mix 97-3 on

Best of Mix 97-3

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://mix97-3.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Mix VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Mix VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.