I was sitting on that porch today, you know the one in old memories. The one with the battleship gray pine boards and exposed, bent ten penny nails? It’s rusting screen with patches meant to keep moths and mosquitos from entering to swarm around that sputtering 60-watt light bulb attached to the side of the door with a hook.

That porch with the white metal bench swing, its flower print cushions covered in plastic and damp from the humidity. The one which has that familiar squeak in the springs as it glides back and forth bumping against the wall if pushed too hard.

A warm trade wind was blowing, lifting, dropping and rising with a whistle through the breezeway as the sound of thunder and the scent of rain came in from the south saturating the air. Dragonflies flew by with such speed you’d think they truly did have someplace to go and were late. The ocean in the distance was angry, whitecaps as far as one could see and gulls were rising and diving above schools of fish swimming up the coast.

I can’t tell you why I’ve come back or when it was that we use to sit on this stoop leading off the porch, staring at the stars brilliant in the summer night talking about our future and the plans we’d made. The wooden walkway which lay before us, weathered, cracked and gray leading to the road and beach beyond. How the dust would blow as cars twisted and rattled when driving over the hard-dry clay and the scent of gardenia from flowers next to the boarding house across the street filled the air.

This porch has remained with me, in my thoughts and heart for decades, and its intrigue has always been a memory that would settle my soul as I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and listened for the wind whistling through the screen almost like the sound of a violin in a quirky way while I imagined I was still holding your hand. Lulling me into a place I once knew, will never forget, and forever love. In moments so very, very long ago.


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An artist/writer as well as graduate of the University of South Carolina with degrees in journalism/20th Century American Literature, and retired senior executive of several international hotel/resort corporations, Johnny is the product of the south having been raised in the ever-changing transient lifestyle of a Carolina coastal resort. A point where he discovered, within his 300-year-old heritage and the world's dramatic social/cultural shifts during the late '60s to early 80’s an ambitious hunger and overwhelming curiosity to touch, see and become a participant in the virtually unlimited possibilities offered to those who wish for and seek life experiences. A journey which when hearing its details initially makes one a bit skeptical, questioning its validity as it is hard to imagine that incidents such as these may have crossed one man’s lifetime. This is the fodder required to step into zones exposing one's personal inner self, which many of his paintings and the words he writes do, openly. An ability to see and hear the tragic, beautiful, accomplished, exciting journey in a life free of inhibitions allowing others the opportunity to live vicariously and become, through his works, a part of its future. His larger works which have been featured in several Colorado and Fredericksburg Texas galleries and resorts have produced a number of collectors and fans. However, over the years, his paintings are mostly viewed by friends, enthusiastic new artist encountered on the streets or a small number of acquaintances he meets when dining in local cafés with his wife.
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Larry Tyler

I love this Johnny my two favorite things in life are a front porch and a dirt road. We truly are kindred spirits. Your imagery is amazing I could feel myself sitting there feeling the breeze

Len Bernat

Johnny – Like Larry, the front porch was the gathering place on summer evenings. Your story stirred memories of a simple time – a special time – a time when families bonded over time spent talking and laughing together. Thanks, my friend.