The Wisdom of Age Project—Hampton Roads, Va. 2017 Documenting Life Stories & How We Get By
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"A Garden,  A Book & A Cheeky Smile:  Clyde Johnson"

photos & nonfiction by Kerry Clingenpeel

In his garden is reminder of the country girl with a cheeky smile to whom Clyde Johnson was married for fifty-four years. Writer Kerry Clingenpeel spent a few weeks with Mr. Johnson in his garden, among his many books, and his four-footed, vanilla-colored companion, Cooper


    Mr. Johnson lives in a lovely brick house that encompasses a garden bustling with flora.  His home, constructed with his own hands, holds tales of a spirited life: a family of deer perched in the bushes, bookshelves of worn out biographies, a wooden swing made for a man and his dog, and one curious statue of a young girl blushing, smiling.


    Kerry Clingenpeel's photographs and story help us tap into Clyde’s memories of a life begun on Virginia Street in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in August 1929, in a rented upstairs apartment.