Evie Johnson - 

I was a lucky young woman with a handsome husband who adored me and a nice flat, which I decorated all by myself.  Every evening before my husband Al returned home from work, I’d dress up and he would tell me how beautiful I looked.  This continued even after I had two children -- Little Al, the oldest, and Susie.  So, one day, when my Al told me that he wanted to join the Army to make a better life for us, I thought he had gone mad.  How could he think of leaving me to manage on my own?  I was simply terrified.

al Johnson - 

When my Pa took me out of school after fourth grade, I became bitter toward him.  I didn’t want to end up a worn-out sharecropper like most of the colored men in Lexington, VA.  I learned whatever I could on my own as a sailor on a merchant ship.  I also hitch-hiked across America and did a stint in the Navy.  Then I met the woman of my dreams.  She was way too good for me, but I won her heart and vowed I’d do anything to keep her happy, even shovel a million tons of coal.


Little Al - 

I was only six when Dad went overseas to fight the evil Germans, leaving me and Susie in the care of Mother.  I was afraid for him, so I prayed every night for God to bring him home safely.  I idolized my Dad.  He had a dream for me.  Even when I was a little kid, he would say, “Son, I want you to go to college.  I may not have the money to send you, but I want you to go.”  As I grew older, his dream became mine.

gallery/al jr