Remembrances of Huey Johnson

Remembrances of Huey Johnson

 

  • James LeCuyer on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I’d known Huey for a couple of weeks, mostly from a talk he gave at the Blue Rock Inn for…July 31, 2020
  • Jeanne Wetzel Chinn on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Huey was my boss from 2003-07, my mentor, and friend. His vision, compassion, direct forward momentum, honesty, and depthful questioning…July 26, 2020
  • mark on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Dear Sue, Megan, Tyler & Jill, I trust you are all slowly healing after such a poignant loss… For me,…July 24, 2020
  • San Francisco Zen Center on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “San Francisco Zen Center, Marin County and, indeed, anyone concerned about the environment, lost a great friend and benefactor with…July 23, 2020
  • Jodie Evans on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I remember the day Jerry popped the Question, well if you have all the answers (or some such quip) come…July 23, 2020
  • Earle W. Cummings on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I began a career in natural resources at California Department of Fish and Game, working in the wildlife investigations lab…July 21, 2020
  • Geni Beckham on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I just want to say that my Uncle Huey was a great man and a great steward for the planet.…July 21, 2020
  • Ray Murray on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “A colleague forwarded Huey’s obituary to me early this week and I was deeply moved. I first engaged with Huey…July 17, 2020
  • Phil Greenberg on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “In late 1977 Governor Jerry Brown convinced Huey to accept an appointment as his Secretary For Resources for the State…July 17, 2020

6 Responses

  1. James LeCuyer

    I’d known Huey for a couple of weeks, mostly from a talk he gave at the Blue Rock Inn for Earth First. I bought him a drink and told him his talk sucked. He laughed and bought me a drink. We talked about the environment for a while then got on to the real subject of fishing. He had an 18-foot aluminum skiff and invited me to go with him to fish for perch in the Bay. We had to leave before dawn, he insisted, so at about four a.m. I drove to his Mill Valley home on Elm, and we towed the boat to Belvedere Island. It was still dark. We stopped at a most unlikely spot, maybe two hundred feet above the water. I thought there must be a road down. I said, “Didn’t know there was a launch ramp around here.”
    He said, “There isn’t.”
    Before I could imagine what we were going to do he unloaded the skiff and I took one end and he the other and to my astonishment we began pulling it over a wall into someone’s back yard. It was damned heavy, weighed down with a five-gallon fuel tank and two oars. A dog began to bark inside the house. “Whose yard is this?” I said.
    “Dunno,” he said. And he kept pulling the boat over and so I went along, over three or four walls into back yards of people he didn’t know, dogs barking, fortunately none biting. It was exhausting. When we got down to a little pier at a house at the waterline, he said, “I know this woman. We’re okay now.”
    “Thank god that’s over,” I told him.
    “Well,” he said. “Just one more thing. Got to go back for the outboard.”
    God in Heaven! Totally crazy, I thought. This guy is totally nuts. I was banged up and my arms ached already. But up we went and down we hauled a 9.9 hp Johnson outboard, about a hundred pounds of awkward dead weight, dogs barking, house lights coming on, the sun just barely rising. And, needless to say, we didn’t catch any perch, and we had to haul the boat and engine up again. And that was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
    Later Susie gave me the skiff, saying, “Just please get rid of the damned thing.” I gave it away to a friend, but when Huey found out that Susie had given away his highly important fishing skiff he blew a fuse and demanded it back. I had to apologize to the friend and to Huey, but we kept a friendship alive for nearly 40 years, and I miss him terribly. Took him out for salmon just last summer, too, before his fall. He was just fine, a little stiff with age, like me, but we limited. The world will miss him, too, and who knows what agriculture and Los Angeles will do to the Sacramento River without Huey to stop them.

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