He tuned the pianos at Loyall High School, sang and played guitar, and worked as a cashier at the Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital Gift Shop.
Normally, most people would not consider these gifts/skills worthy of amazement. However, you might change your mind if you considered Arthur Johnson was blind.
|Arthur Johnson tuned our pianos|
I don't recall him using any device to determine the correct pitch, so I imagine he also had perfect pitch. I'm guessing though and don't know for sure.
As much as his piano tuning impressed me, his job as cashier flabbergasted me.
I spent hours over my early years waiting in the lounge for one of my parents to visit someone upstairs in the patient area. Kids weren't allowed on the floors in those days. So, I sat downstairs and watched Mr. Johnson as customers came up to him and made their purchases.
At least he didn't see me sitting there staring at him for hours.
I never understood how he knew from touch what a person had chosen. Or how much it cost.
Dad said he never made a mistake. I don't know about that for sure. I do wonder, though, how many naughty boys tried to fool him. I'm sure there are some stories there.
Arthur Johnson's ability to live above his blindness motivated me to not give up just because I don't have all my faculties or the resources to easily become successful. We all need to resolve to overcome roadblocks to fulfilling life's successes. Or our dreams.
If you grew up in Harlan County, did you know Arthur Johnson? Do you have any stories about him? I'd love to hear your memories.
*The photo of Arthur Johnson (above) first appeared on a historical site. I have no idea where it originated. If you know, please tell me in the comments. I'd like to give credit to the photographer.