There are times, few times, but times, when, in the middle of an interview, one is overcome by the enormity of the moment. That may be a Moment of Larry, a zen moment, or just a moment when one knows that they are, yes, alive. Such was the case when I first heard Johnny Jameson speak. I observed Johnny speak with Toni Reavis, long time announcer of the LA Marathon (he’s been only announcer for 32 years).
Johnny Jameson, like Toni Reavis and I, hail from Saint Louis. Johnny’s experience was much different than Toni or mine. As an African-American, his experience in Saint Louis was much different than mine.
Johnny was raised in Pruit Igoe Housing project, a notorious example of public housing gone awry. I knew about the Projects through my grandfather, a police officer called there many times.
Johnny Jameson went from Saint Louis to Vietnam, as he was drafted in 1970. Johnny experienced more pain and suffering there than anyone should experience.
After Vietnam, Johnny moved from Saint Louis to California. Now, nearly five decades later, the U.S. Postal deliverer has 32 LA Marathons under his belt. Johnny ran the races backwards the first two years, then, dribbled a basket ball for several years, now, he merely runs and enjoys the experience. His five daughters, at first were worried about his running, but now, it is part of Johnny.
Please listen to this interview, listen well, and consider Johnny as an example of the LA Marathon, but also, a prime example of the what can be good in our country. Then, like this writer, with moistened yes, consider just how lucky you have been to have digitally met Johnny Jameson, an American marathoner, a father of five daughters, a postal employee, a proud Californian and a man from the City of Angels.