Jack E Johnston
Biography Version 1.0.0
June 28, 2014
The Philosopher: General Patton stated that “Generals are not made, they are born”. I think this also applies to Philosophers. My Father was well educated at the University of Chicago, IL my Mother was also well educated at a girls college in Milwaukee WI. and well-read always taking a book to bed with her. Being the youngest of eight of my Father’s children and the youngest of four of my Mother’s Children, with ten years difference between me and my next older brother, and my near sister affiliating with the two older siblings, I was pretty much on my own and not someone my sisters wanted around when they had dance parties in the basement. According to Dr. Kevin Leman, the birth-order Psychologist, I was a functional firstborn and possible a functional only child. I definitely had characteristics of the lastborn; I thought life was about having fun and playing practical jokes on people. I had characteristics of a firstborn, a take charge personality and paid close attention to detail and I have organized many events, all firstborn characteristics, although I did not have the “Eagle Eye” of natural firstborns. I like to work alone, a characteristic of an only child.
I grew up in a middle class home, located next to a working class neighborhood. It seems I was seen as privileged by the working class neighborhood kids as one of their pass times was to gang up on me and beat the crap out of me. But, I learned how to protect myself and stand alone in an unequal fight, a valuable lesson for what was to come in later life.
During this time period it was accepted that educating males was more important than educating females since, as middleclass, they typically go to college to find a college educated man to marry to stay within their middleclass social structure. Consequently, to balance the budget with this new arrival, me; three of my half-sisters had their out-of–state college funding terminated. I fell out of favor with my five sisters because of these men-to-college first doctrine. However, the three sisters already in college all married college-men in fact three PhDs. Unfortunately my Father died during my last semester in High School and there was no way I was going to get any support from my family for college despite my Physics Teacher’s lobbing for me to study physics and possible availability of Veterans Administration college funding since my father was a veteran of WWI . My oldest near sister stated that “I was too stupid to go to college, that I was lucky to graduate from high school” offered to let me come to Oregon to stay with her and get a job in a saw mill. Since this was the only offer on the table, I took it and worked in a saw mill, pulling lumber from a Green Chain (pulling green lumber from a moving chain and stacking the lumber on pallets so they could be transported around the mill).
I did this for about a year, with a significant time out darning a labor disputed when I landed an unpaid apprenticeship with a photographer in the nearby town. When I did not receive any letters from my friend who was a girl from high school, for a year, I joined the Air Force and served four years, the last eighteen months in the South Pacific. I became their ace jet engine troubleshooter and was called on to give second opinions on aircraft waiting for parts and was called on to help the other shift troubleshoot a difficult engine. This is important because after receiving my degree and obtaining a position at a major National Physics Laboratory, I also was successful at rising to the ranks of Ace Troubleshooter for the Departments of Energy and Defense.
This is important because it is a Philosopher’s job is to find the truth, the same as a troubleshooter. It was not logic and reason that was my asset, but visualization skills that I probably inherited from my father, also a troubleshooter in the creamery business. Just to place this in the proper time frame, my father was one of the first to own a radio, and he shared this with his coworkers at the creamery. And a floor model radio was the center of our entertainment at home where I listened to Sunday night stories with my friends and visualized the events of the stories. I remember comments made by other classmates that “Gun Smoke” was much better when we visualized the events than the interpretations that we saw on the newly invented television.
I was a recent college graduate in the workforce for about ten years when a well-educated PhD friend, told me I was a Philosopher and should read Plato, Aristotle and other Philosophers. I told him that “I knew nothing of Philosophy and these Philosophers would be way over my head and I could not possible understand their writings”. He was surprised at my answer, but he was a people person and he knew he was right. I became interested in the Gospels around the age of thirty-seven I joined a church where I became a Bible Study Leader. Not knowing much of the Gospels or the Bible in general, I relied on the information that was given to me each week by this organization. I lead an adult Bible Study Class for about seven years, and then switched to a fourth grade class, as a Teacher’s Assistant, for another ten years. During this time I started my study of Philosophy. When the Philosophy Professor asked me what area I wanted to focus, I stated that “I wanted to study world religions”. She said “forget it, you will just get confused”. A classmate did get her degree in Philosophy and focused on religions and I can see now that she is very confused about religion. I think my professor was right when she steered me away from world religions, I stayed focused on the Christian religion.
One Easter Sunday, I decided to write my own lesson plan as I was not too fond of the doctrine given to me by the organization for this special day, I just sensed that something was not right about the doctrine that was being presented by the organization. I wrote a lesson plan called “Believing Without Seeing”, I challenged my small group of three boys and a girl that I could hit a baseball out of the park for a homerun, they were all nay-Sayers. I had brought a plastic bat and a Wiffleball with me and our classroom was next to a park. I invited them to the park for a demonstration. They did not know that I was the author of a “Power Hitting” paper called “The String-Bat Model”. When I picked up the ball and hit it deep into the park, they all wanted me to teach them how to hit like that. After a quick individual lesson, we returned to the classroom and I asked them “what if Jesus died on the cross so you would believe what he said”. All the class wanted to know what Jesus said that was so important, this is called “a Teachable Moment”. I chalked this lesson plan up as the best lesson plan I had ever taught. When the next Easter Sunday rolled around, the Sunday School Director came to my home and informed me that they did not want me to teach Sunday School anymore in their organization. Apparently I was accused of “corrupting the minds of our youth”, at least I did not have to drink a cup of Hemlock as Socrates was asked to do when charged with the same action “Corrupting the Minds of the Youth”. I was directed to a different organization (closer to home) and have fellowshipped, but not taught at any level, for the last seventeen years.
I now bill myself as: “The Top Gun National Crises Troubleshooter”, Retired, I could use the term Rehabilitated because I have lived the last ten years recovering from and industrial incident involving toxic fumes that did a number on my “Reflection” ability. I recently started playing my new banjo and guitar again as music therapy and credit them with restoring my “Reflection” ability.