Cattlemen honor kitchen ‘boss’ Johnson

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas came early for James O. Johnson this year.

And, it came in an unexpected but greatly appreciated way.

The Pike County Cattlemen honored Johnson by naming the kitchen at Cattleman Park the “James O. Johnson Kitchen.”

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There are a lot of James Johnson in this world but there’s only one James O. Johnson and he’s a rare and special kind of man, said Ed Whatley, Pike County Cattlemen’s Association executive director.

“Johnson subscribes to the theory that it’s better to give than to receive,” Whatley said. “And, he’s always available to give a helping hand and no one knows that better than the Pike County Cattlemen.

“James O. is, of course, the originator of our cooking group that’s been around for about 40 years. Before we had the Cattlemen’s building, James O. would grill steaks and hamburgers for the Cattlemen and Cattlemen and all different groups. We’ve been in the Cattlemen’s building for about 20 years now, and he’s been in charge of all the cooking and grilling and the concession stand.

“The Cattlemen’s board of directors wanted to show its appreciation to him for his contributions to our organizations and for his commitment to the community by naming the kitchen in his honor. He is more than deserving.”

Actually, the kitchen is James O. Johnson’s kitchen.

“He’s the boss,” Whatley said, laughing. “That’s what we all call him – Boss and that’s what he is. He manages the kitchen. He does all of the ordering and he tells us what to do and we do it. It’s his kitchen.”

Johnson said he was surprised by the recognition and said that he does nothing alone.

He expressed appreciation to the Cattlemen and Cattlewomen for their support.

“I’m honored and I humbled,” he said. “I didn’t expect anything like this.

“It means a lot to me. I hope everybody knows that.

“It takes all of us working together. Nobody does anything alone.”