By Tommy King
When you are down and out and think the world can’t get any worse… think of Willie.
When your car is broken down and you can’t get to work… think of Willie.
When the weather is rainy and cold and you have to get out… think of Willie.
When your job becomes so bad you want to quit… think of Willie.
When you think you have to have 20 inch wheels and can’t afford them… think of Willie.
I’ve known Willie Johnson for most of my 62 years. I’ve worked with him and have been a friend to him while he worked for Senator Gordon so many years.
If people are looking for a role model they need to look no further than Willie. Willie has taken what God gave him and has done more with that than most people with much greater abilities.
Work has never scared Willie. That gives him independence; God gives him courage to face every day.
By living a simple life without all the complexities, Willie has moved through life so easily it makes one wonder if we really need so much.
I’ve yet to see him complain about life being unfair. He makes do with what he has. Willie will probably outlive the majority of people my age. When he passes there will be as many white people as black at his last show. If everyone could get along with other people like Willie does, it would be a much better world.
Just by talking with Willie at Todd’s or giving him a lift home always brightens my day. I also know that if I ever need help Willie will be there.
I hope I have become a better person from knowing him and being his friend. I know where Willie’s final resting place will be because he has been spending his time on this earth trying to be a better person.
Originally published in the Okolona Messenger on April 15. Reprinted by request and with permission.