Quantcast

Lancaster county man made a name for himself by making names for - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster county man made a name for himself by making names for others

Posted: Updated:
  • Let's Go PlacesMore>>

  • Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:09:35 GMT
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
  • Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:20:20 GMT
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
  • Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-07-11 15:08:08 GMT
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>

Watching Randy Johnson convert gold filled wire rods into customized name pins is a thing of beauty.

It's been a comfort zone for this 88-year-old Lancaster artisan for more than seven decades.

"Everything, with the exception of a couple of letters, is done as you would write it with a pencil," he said, adroitly twisting wire into a scripted name pin using only a pair of pliers and 70 plus years of experience.

When he was still in high school, his pins were drawing rave reviews from friends and family. But, it wasn't until he made one for a fellow soldier during a troop transport in World War Two that something clicked. Others on that ship mobbed him with pin requests.

"For the next ten weeks I made pins for all the guys on the ship. My fingers were so sore, I had to tape them up," he recalled.

"And what did that tell me I didn't know I had before? I've got something I didn't know I had."

He decided then to make a name for himself by making names for others. After the war, Johnson toured the country, making pins and selling them along the way. It was at one of those stops that he met the woman who would share his sense of adventure and travel for the next 62 years. Her name was Florence, but everyone called her Boots. Randy and Boots became fixtures at craft shows, carnivals and fairs, while at the same time raising their children and running a trophy shop in Lancaster. Over the years, Johnson estimates he has made between 200 and 250-thousand name pins. Guest books from past shows feature names of customers from around the world. And many local customers returned periodically to add birthstones to grandma pins or to have new pins made for the next generation.

"I've had a good life. We've done a lot of travelling all over the world. " Johnson said. "And we did what I wanted to do. I'm not rich, but I didn't have a problem."

Contact Randy Johnson at randysnames@yahoo.com or 717-394-5967.

Powered by WorldNow