top of page

Who is PopieTom (Spooky) ?

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Born on October 31, 1944 @ 3:15 AM (after long labor his mother's nurse said you have a little spook, nickname = Spooky) to Tom Lloyd Johnson Jr (Father) and Lois Vesta (Dealy) Johnson (Mom) in Saint Joseph's Hospital in Houston, Texas. Father, an only child raised my his divorced mother, dropped out of Rice University along with best friend George to join the United States Air Force, he wanted to be a pilot, but his first flight instructor said he was recommending him as a mechanic as his Rice University engineering classes made him more interested in how the airplane worked and why than just getting on with flying the damn thing. He was on Tenian Island, a 40+ square mile island - one of the Mariana Islands off the Island of Japan. In 1944 the Air Force used Tenian as an airfield to stage the B-29, the flying fortress, used to drop bombs including the war ending atomic bombs on Japan. His dad snapped pictures of Fat Boy and Little Boy, atomic bombs on the hanger floor while working on the B-29s, Bockscar and Enola Gay. He witnessed the tragic death of his best friend George in a catastrophic crash of a B-29 landing on Tinian, latter naming his third son in his honor. Father returned to Houston to become a man dedicated to values. He worked his way up to be a 32 degree Mason and Shriner, Year after year Father dedicated his time to Shriner events like the Houston Circus, Fat Stock Show and Rodeo and Shriner's Hospital. He volunteered 1 or 2 nights a week to ride as a second police officer in a squad car. He served as councilman and mayor in our local cities most of his life. He supported his family as a banker rising from teller to vice president of a neighborhood bank in a mostly black and poor end of Houston, Texas, Jenson Drive and only as it fell on hard times he moved as vice president of a bank closer to but still in a poor area of Houston. Father helped many struggling people. At Port City Bank he helped Motown Records, a struggling Detroit Michigan black owned recording company to finance a desperately need tour bus. They were so grateful our family enjoyed the latest and best 45 records before the rest of America for years. There were other notable bank customers that built a relationship with Father, The Jamail Brothers and Lone Star Beer. In fact Tom Jr was doing so much for others, he had a lot less time for his family. What time he did have he worked hard to pass on his values.

With Father busy a lot of the time PopieTom was raised by Mom mostly. He spent most of his young life talking with and doing things with his Mom. Father had square edges and was mostly black and white. Mom had round soft edges and had more colors than the rainbow. Mom was all about love and forgiveness. Father was about productivity, reason and discipline. Anytime Mom spent away from home children were with her. Most of the time away from home was shopping at JMH Grocery 2 doors away, some doctor's office in West University Village, just past the school, or at The Methodist Church which was in the next block on our street one block short of the West University Elementary School where Spooky walked to school. Mom loved music and loved to sing in the church choir. Mom came from a highly religious German-Irish family. When babysitting her father, an alcoholic real estate salesman that loved fishing, would always have an engaging moral/bible story. He would let Spooky steer his 1939 Ford coupe

in his lap while he drank from his whiskey bottle concealed in a paper bag, drinking and driving was not yet illegal or frowned on. Every Sunday Mom and Spooky would attend early and late services and Sunday school. All of her children were the first to be registered in Vacation Bible School. Father would attend if he was not busy. Mom was a diabetic, type 1, requiring an insulin shot every morning. In 1950 one would reuse the syringe and needle boiling both then filling with insulin. Mom hated to shoot herself, Father left early for work, so Spooky did it before school.

PopieTom is a lifelong 1960s Liberal/Conservative a product of his parents. He is a libertarian not a committed Republican nor Democrat. Guess you might classify him as an Independent except he would say that is too non-religious bordering on atheism. He is a product of Father and Mom, an individual that came of age during the 1960's, the Free Love, Freedom of Speech (every thought needs to be heard), President John Kennedy Assassinated, Woodstock, Weed, War in Vietnam, Watergate, Civil Rights, Cuban Missile Crisis, Man Moon Landing and Martin Luther King Murdered. Spooky's Father and Mom voted Democratic when they came of age in the late 1930s but for sure switched their vote to Republican when Eisenhower ran in 1952 when Spooky took notice at the age of 8. Note that his parents switched as well. However, in 1960 the entire family voted for John F. Kennedy. Spooky agreed as he came of age. Following John Kennedy's assassination Vice President Lyndon Johnson from Texas, somehow related to our family by a distant relative, was not respected by PopieTom, as he came to voting age, and also by the rest of the Johnson family. The whole family voted for Republican Barry Goldwater ( ) 1964 but Johnson won in a landslide. Had he run in 1968 he would have received none of the family vote. We all thought of him as opportunistic, insincere in his efforts to capture the black vote. The values of the Johnson family have always supported equal rights for all Americans no matter what race or skin color.

Two things happened in 1972 that shifted PopieTom's support to a Democratic candidate. He spent spent April to October of 1972 working in Washington DC supporting the conversion and training of all departments of the US Government, General Services Administration (GSA) to run their data processing on CSC's Computer Sciences Timesharing System (CSTS) which he had helped Owen Mock, a founder of CSC, to develop, integrate and test. Over the several months in Washington PopieTom met with every branch of Government. On weekends he walked the streets of DC witnessing protests, demonstrations and streets filled with tear gas. The day after Watergate PopieTom and the head of CSC in DC met with Caspar Weinberger (, head of Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office Building across from the Whitehouse and a last minute addition of 2 men introduced as the Security Plumbers. As Watergate evolved PopieTom began to reevaluate his value views of his Government run by Republicans, President Nixon. Maybe change would help.

Returning on trips and finally permanently to Hermosa Beach, California during 1972 PopieTom and Donna for the first time in their lives began working in the political campaign for George McGovern (, the Democratic candidate for President. He lost to Nixon and by 1976 PopieTom and Donna had started a family, moved to Kemah (Nasa Houston) for the Panama Canal Project; they were to busy to get involved in a Presidential political campaign goals. They did vote for Jimmy Carter; PopieTom did so based on he was not a Washington politician, he was a peanut farmer businessman; he was looking for someone who could manage positive change, what a mistake, things got much worse.

In 1980 PopieTom left CSC to form a partnership with Dave Schmidt in Marin County Sausalito, California. Starting a new business changed PopieTom's politics again. Through his relationship with Dave Tom discovered the Libertarian Party. Clearly his priorities did and still do agree more with the Libertarian Party than the Republican and Democratic party it was clear then and much more so now when it comes to voting it is the Republican Party that he agrees the most with and hopes they can win. PopieTom was able to hear Ronald Reagan speak 2 or 3 times in person when he was Governor of California and in Austin Texas when he started his Presidential Campaign. He places Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy as the 2 best Presidents in his lifetime. It is the Democratic Party that left the values of Kennedy.

This is getting a little long. More thoughts in the next Post.

33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page