“Another man done gone…”

George and Llyn Johnson
George and Llyn Johnson, in front of the fountain in the garden at one of Tom's folk song festivals, June 1966.

“Another man done gone…” George Meyer Johnson was born in Onawa, Iowa, on May 28, 1945. His family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1954. He graduated from Northeast High School in 1964 and from St. Petersburg Junior College in 1967, in which year he was co-recipient of SPJC’s Carolyn Parker Award for Creative Writing. He was a regular guitarist at the Beaux Arts Coffeehouse during 1964-1967 and served as its manager for a time. In Sept. 1967, he moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to attend Florida State University, where he majored in philosophy. He resided in Tallahassee thereafter.

George’s interests comprised four main areas: music, motorcycles, computers, and animals. He played lead guitar with many bands as well as being occasional backup guitarist for Rita Coolidge while she attended FSU. He owned and operated a stringed instrument sales and repair shop, Guitar Enterprise, Ltd., on North Monroe Street, Tallahassee. His clients included B. B. King, John Lee Hooker, Dickie Betts, Duane Allman, and Joan Jett. His shop was a hub of lunch-hour discussion groups. His passion for riding and repairing motorcycles led to his building a racing bike that was successful in the southeastern track circuit. He became expert in computer systems configuration. He was renowned for rescuing and adopting numerous cats and dogs.

He died of a heart attack at his home on Nov. 16, 2008. He was preceded in death by his parents, the Rev. Earl G. Johnson of St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral and Ruth M. Johnson of St. Anthony’s Hospital (St. Petersburg). He is survived by his daughter, Caitlin H. Johnson, and her mother, Llyn C. French, both of St. Petersburg; and by his former long-time companion, Linnie J. Osborn of Tallahassee. They request that contributions in remembrance be made to the Leon County Humane Society, 413 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312.

– Llyn French

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10 thoughts on ““Another man done gone…””

  1. Knew George had passed, but did not know about this memory page for him. I knew George back at Lealman Jr. High in St. Petersburg, 1957-1960. When I had mumps in 7th grade, and later the measles, George came by several times to lend me books. Seems like Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury were his favorites in those days. We didn’t see each other often after Lealman, but I was able to keep track of him. Lots of people knew him. And lots remember him, including me. See ya down the road, pal.
    Jon Wilson

  2. I am so sorry to hear of George’s death. He was my considerate and generous friend when I was young, as was Laine Corn. I always thought George and Laine should have recorded — they were that good. When I was in New York, in the early 1970s, I wanted to produce him, but alas that did not happen. George’s musical sense was formidable. And of course, I had a tremendous crush on Laine. George used to give me a lift on his motorcycle all the way from Beaux Arts over to my mother’s house in Tampa and he would be cracking jokes over his shoulder all the way there. He loved to drive. I have a great memory of one night up in Tallahassee, probably around 1965, when he got his hands on a Jaguar XKE — actually, I have so many memories of George, because he was an indelible part of my youth. I see that Laine has commented here — Laine, I *still* have a crush on you. Write to me at wcassidy (at) oldrabbitmine.com — here is a memory for you: “When you lower your loved ones into the grave, you’ll wish for just at that one moment you could save. You’ll want to die, until you learn to cry… OM, Om, Om..OM”

  3. Yes, George and Lyn were very specal to me. SHE WOULD SING “baby blue’ for me. when ever I asked. And No, I’m not Dead! Just had 3 Major motorcycle accidents. the last in May 1,1980. I was hit broadside at 60 mph. My Name was never put down as one of the croud at the Beaux I lived there. Jim Rose

  4. Mari
    shit.
    shit.
    shit shit shit shit.
    Though I hadn’t seen him for a number of
    years, I thought of George pretty often.
    We were classmates at Northeast together,
    and when I came back from the
    Army we were of course Artisans together.
    What a delightful, brilliant asshole he
    was! Back in the day when folksingers were
    real rakes and ramblin’ men (“You just stay
    here, little honey, and keep that thang
    warm for me and I’ll look for you if I’m
    ever back this way”) all turned out in
    their flannel shirts and Levi jackets,
    George added heavily to the style, his belt
    fastened just past the second loop to avoid
    scratching the back of his beloved J45.
    Ever the unrepentant punster, his acid wit
    was a highlight of every BA weekend.
    Getting older always means you know more
    and more dead people, but I will especially
    miss knowing George is in it. It is a
    sadder place for his absence. RIP, dude.
    Panama

  5. Thank you, Llyn, for keeping George alive for us here. And thank you for all you’ve done to preserve the memory and tradition of the Beaux.
    Laine

  6. There were many interesting lunchtime discussion with George on many subjects. The enduring quotation regarding the diminished chord–“The last refuge of a scoundrel.”
    Chas.

  7. To George-
    A good true friend, and a gentleman among men. You taught me how to ride, and that it was OK to improve poetry and music.
    T.T.F.N.
    Gene

  8. GEORGE WAS A VERY SPECIAL PERSON AND FRIEND TO EVERYONE AT DR. WALTONS” OFFICE (ONE OF HIS CLIENTS)WE ENJOYED TALKING WITH HIM AND PICKING HIS BRAIN ABOUT MANY SUBJECTS; INSTEAD OF LOOKING UP INFO. ON GOOGLE WE WOULD JUST ASK GEORGE, HE WOULD KNOW THE ANSWER. WE ALL THINK ABOUT HIM EVERY DAY AND JUST HOPE HE KNEW HOW MUCH WE CARED FOR HIM. HE IS AND WILL BE MISSED GREATLY.

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