Johnny was born and raised in Goliad and spent a lot of time in Lewis' Bend. He went to school at Hall's Point. He had a baseball team down in Lewis’ Bend and played a lot of ball before he went into the Army. The bases were made out of cotton sacks stuffed with cotton or rags. Mitts were made out of cowhide and bats from a live oak tree. Johnny learned to read in the Army during WWII and made Pvt. Sergeant. A very smart and capable man, his commanding officer wanted to send him to Officer Candidate School. Growing up in the river bottom gave him a knowledge of nature that served him and his fellow soldiers well during his war years. He loved to tell his story of saving his entire platoon while stationed in the Pacific.