Johnston brings talents to small town
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Linda Johnston was born in Mobile and grew up as a city girl. A small town of Brewton is not exactly what she had in mind when she made her plans for her life.
Life does not always turn out the way one expects and she found herself moving to Brewton from Birmingham when her husband moved here to work at Citation Brewton, formerly ADICO, as a controller.
Johnston is not one to let changed plans get in her way. She got involved with civic activities in Brewton and has made a place for herself within the community. She and her husband, Jerry, attend First Presbyterian Church where she teaches a class of third and fourth graders on Wednesday nights. She serves on a missionary committee which brings missionaries in for a conference in the wintertime.
She is in charge of Palmer House, which the church supports, and leads a community Bible study at First Methodist Church each Thursday. She is the treasurer of her church circle and is chairman of the board of the Christian Community Benevolent Fund which helps the needy.
She also helps Stephanie Walker each year with the Christmas Project, is on the board of Hope Place and has done some volunteer work at Turtle Point in Flomaton. She is a master gardner and a member of a garden club.
Her home reflects this love of the garden. Her garden may look as if it sprang out all on its own, but that is not the case. She has carefully planned it that way. Not only does it seem to satisfy her, but the birds seem to agree. Her yard is carefully planted to draw both butterflies and birds, especially hummingbirds. Feeders are situated in several places, even attached to the windows in the breakfast room. One can sit and watch them for hours and never tire of their antics.
One of Johnston's projects is with the Brewton Council of the Arts. She served as treasurer for six years and is now president of the organization. Brewton Council of the Arts is so much more than most people realize and the benefit to the community that it serves cannot be measured.
Council of the Arts has provided the children of the local schools with various hands-on programs including bringing a puppet show to a school, in which the children worked for a week making their own puppets and bringing a brass quartet.
The Council sponsors an art show for students each year, sponsors a scholarship to a junior or senior in college who is going into the field of arts and sends a grade of middle school students to the Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery each year. Up until this year they have been responsible for the decoration of the city park downtown for Christmas. This year they will move over into Burnt Corn Creek Park where they will be able to spread out.
Perhaps their most noticeable collection of events are the performances, which for the 2002-03 season, are "Yesterday", "A Wonderful Life" and "The Miracle Worker." The council sells season tickets to these high-caliber performances. Their first season performance will be Thursday, Oct. 3 when "Yesterday," takes the stage. This is a group who perform and dress like "The Beatles."
Johnston grew up in Mobile and attended Davidson High School where she met her husband at the age of 16. They have been married since 1968.
The couple moved to Tuscaloosa where he attended the University of Alabama and she attended trade school in computer science and worked while he was going to school.
Then the two moved to Birmingham where her husband took his first job at what is now Price-Waterhouse-Cooper's Accounting. They became the parents of two girls, Jennifer and Michelle. Jennifer is now the Dean of Equestrian at Judson in Marion. Michelle is a mechanical engineer. Both of the girls are married and there are four grandchildren.
Johnston ran a Mother's Day Out program in Birmingham for 23 years.
The time had come for a change in the Johnston family. Jerry Johnston had a friend that was an executive with Citation in Birmingham and told him that a job was open in Brewton. The decision was made to make the move and they have now been here for 10 years.
The family spends a lot of free time on the water. They love to sail and they own a 27-foot boat called "Someday Three." They also have a power boat they like to use. He is in the Pensacola Power Squadron that promotes safety on the water and gives classes in water safety.
She also collects anything having to do with The University of Alabama, Hummels, pink depression wear and blue and white china. These collectibles are strategically placed around her home.
But her favorite place to be seems to be in large room overlooking the back yard. It is not quite fitting to call it a back yard, but more of a garden with flowers and greenery everywhere. And, of course, there are those birds that she enjoys so much.
She is also pretty handy in the garden, too. She has started growing some fruit trees and one of her lemon trees has one lemon on it the size of a grapefruit.