On behalf of Ron Davis, Norm Pearson, and Jim Self, thank you so much for contributing your letters, pictures, photos, poems and even your junior high school report cards (!!) to Tommy Johnson’s Memento Book. It was a year-long project in the making but could not have happened without your direct input into the product. Nobody ever makes it through this life on their own in spite of occasional self-delusion; we are always standing on the shoulders of somebody who helped guide us along the way. I am glad that all of you listed above (and those who get posted letters) made the time to express your appreciation to Mr. Johnson.
So you are apprised of exactly what happened, the Memento Book was presented to Tommy Johnson at the family home in Chatsworth on May 29, 2005. TJ’s family was there for a Sunday afternoon barbeque (a tradition, as I understand it). Jim Self, Ron Davis (who flew in from Columbia, South Carolina just for this occasion!) Norm Pearson (as well as his wife, Cindy and son, Edward) and I met at a pre-arranged location in the ‘hood and then all showed up at the house about 5 PM. TJ answered the door and was a little shocked at all these folks barging in on his house (and refrigerator!).
Pat Johnson was there, along with daughter Sue and her friend, Nick. Daughter Jennifer was there as well. Sue’s kids Sammy and Jaclyn were there along with Jennifer’s kids, Daniel and Dylan. Also, Mo Anderson was visiting TJ at the time from Florida.
It was a hungry, happy crew. We sat around, ate some great cooking and eventually presented TJ with the Memento Book.
The Memento Book ended up being over 100 pages long. He took a quick glance at it but closed it after a minute or two saying, in so many words, that he knew it was going to be an emotional thing to get through. It probably still is.
Presenting the book
Again, more pictures will eventually appear. We will let you know where they may be viewed.
For those who have received postal letters referring you to this site and if you have an e-mail address, do let me know your e-mail address and I will let you know expeditiously when and where these other photos can be viewed.
Some of you asked about TJ’s health in your letters that you sent in. He is doing fine. Some of you former students from the early days may not know that he has been through alot of health issues including a kidney transplant, Bell’s palsy and diabetes. For going through all that, he still has an amazing attitude which is an inspiration for so many. He still gets out often to golf and looks younger than many of his students. See photos for proof!! He is still very busy in the studios along with his teaching at USC and UCLA.
On behalf of Ron, Jim and Norm, again, thank you for your contribution to his Memento Book. I know it means alot to him.
Name / Association with Tommy / Present Whereabouts
- James Arnwine / private student, UCLA / Professor at Pasadena City College
- Mitch Aronson / Sepulveda Junior High School / Aronson Manufacturing, Van Nuys
- Jeff Atlas / Sepulveda Junior High School /
- Elizabeth Baker / Sepulveda Junior High School / violinist, LAPO
- Anthony Bancroft / private student, UCLA/ USC /
- Julie A. Bienenfeld / Sepulveda Junior High School / lawyer, North Hollywood
- Robert Bienenfeld / Sepulveda Junior High School / American Honda Motor Company
- Roger Bobo / friend-colleague / LAPO
- Bob Burstein / private student / Disneyland Band
- Gene Carl / Sepulveda Junior High School / composer, The Hague, Netherlands
- Ron Davis / private student USC / Professor, University of South Carolina/ Principal tuba, South Carolina Philharmonic
- Ross deRoche / private student / LA music preparation, contracting, free-lance tuba
- Michael Dougan / Sepulveda Junior High School /
- Jerry Fallenberg / Sepulveda Junior High School / professional trombone, Bakersfield
- Eric Fritz / private student USC / Principal tuba, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, Mexico
- Roberta Garten / pianist/accompanist / USC /
- Phillip Herrera / private student USC / /
- Frank Heuser / private student USC / Associate Professor, UCLA
- Gary Hickman / private student (USC master classes) / LA free-lance
- Joseph Jackson / private student USC /
- Bill Kecke / friend-colleague / West Newbury, Vermont
- Dylan King / private student / LA composer / free-lance tubist
- Neil Konouchi / private student /
- Daihei Kurashinu / private student / Tokyo, Japan
- Harry Leff / Sepulveda Junior High School / teacher, Las Virgenes Unified School District
- Jay Lichtmann / Sepulveda Junior High School / Principal Trumpet, Hartford Symphony/ Adjunct Faculty, Hartt School of Music
- Martin J. Lichtmann / Sepulveda Junior High School / USC / Norman, OK
- Charlie Loper / friend-colleague / LA Studios
- Tom Lukowicz / private student USC /
- Paul Luxenberg / private student USC / Hong Kong Cultural Centre
- Rod Mathews / private student USC
- Eric Messerschmidt / private student USC / educator, Huntington Beach
- Robert Millar / Sepulveda Junior High School / architect, Topanga, CA
- Beth Mitchell / private student USC / Norwalk, CA
- Todd Molnar / Sepulveda Junior High School / USC / orthopedist, Calabasas, CA
- can’t read name! / Sepulveda Junior High School / curator of the plant “something something!”
- Dante Noto / Sepulveda Junior High School / Director fo Arts, Humanities and / Social Science Research, UC System / Oakland
- Tim O’Brien / private student USC / Huntington Beach
- Kathleen O’Conner Frankeny / Sepulveda Junior High School / Lake Forest, CA
- Paul Parsons / Sepulveda Junior High School / University of Washington Cancer Center in Radiation Oncology
- Norm Pearson / private student USC / Tubist, LAPO
- Gene Pokorny / private student USC / Principal tubist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Jonathan Rees / influenced by recordings / free-lance tuba, educator / London, England
- Bill Reichenbach / friend-colleague / LA Studios
- Daniel Safford / private student USC /
- Kiyoshi Sato / private student USC / Tokyo, Japan
- Jim Self / private student USC / friend-colleague / LA Studios/ USC
- Terry Sokolsky Brisbane / Sepulveda Junior High School / Market Research Consultant / Richmond, VA
- Judy Stiles Bailey / Sepulveda Junior High School
- Scott Sutherland / private student USC & UCLA / LA tubist
- Phil Teele / friend-colleague / LA Studios
- Caroline Wong Dere / Sepulveda Junior High School / Torrence, CA
- Micky Wrobleski / private student / Central Conservatory of Music / Beijing Orchestra
P.S. Anyone who has not sent a letter to Tommy can still do so by mailing it to:Tommy Johnson
10530 Lerida Place
Chatsworth, CA 91311-2435