Beehive Homes Community Spotlight: LaMaida JohnsonEvery
community has people in it that the car belonged make it great - salt-of-the-earth kind of to my friend’s people. Join us at Beehive Homes each brother, and she month as we highlight one of our longtime took it without members in the community. permission, and
LaMaida Jean Johnson was born in she didn’t even May of 1937 at her home in Los Angeles, have a driver’s Calif., to Loring and Lola Larsen. She was license,” John- named after a street her father Loring was son said. A group working on while painting homes. She of boys stopped had two sisters and two brothers. During to help the girls; a time of U.S. turmoil in preparation of among them was World War II, LA was bustling with in- Jonny Robert dustry. During World War II (1941-1945), Johnson of Santaquin. “I don’t remember Los Angeles grew as a center for produc- who else was there with the boys, I only tion of aircraft, war supplies and ammu- remember Jonny. He really made an im- nitions. Thousands of people, both blacks pression on me,” she said. and whites from the South and the Mid- When Johnson was going into 11th west, migrated to the West to fill factory grade, she and Jonny started dating and jobs. were soon married. She quit school and
“I remember every once in a while we focused on her family. They later would would have what they called blackouts. move to a home across the street from the Someone would come down the street high school that still stands today. They calling out ‘blackout’. Everyone would had three children: Joyce Lorane, Robert turn out their lights and pull their shades Leon and Cara Jean. Johnson was a young down. Fred (my brother) and I had tags mother and did the best she could raising to wear around our necks with our names her young children. She was as busy as and address stamped in them. This was in you would expect a young mother to be, case the West Coast was invaded,” John- and her complete attention was given to son said. When Johnson turned 5, her fa- her children. Robert soon started painting ther and mother moved to Utah so they with her father and would later work for could be closer to Lola’s ailing mother Geneva Steel, from which he retired many who lived in Aurora, Utah. They settled years later. in Spanish Fork and lived in a home on Today Johnson lives in Beehive Homes 400 North. Loring was a house painter of Salem. She is enjoying the quiet life and and quickly found work painting homes in reminiscing about the old days - laughing the subdivision they lived in. It was being about good times and crying about the built out very quickly and homes were fill- hard times. “I really do like this place. I ing up with migrant workers who came to love my room, it is so nice. I never want the area to work for Geneva Steel. In fact, to leave this place, it really is nice.” John- the subdivision they moved into was one son has 16 grandchildren, 18 great-grand- of the first subdivision in Spanish Fork children, and one great-great-grandchild. and was dubbed “Little Chicago.” Thank you, LaMaida Johnson, for being
Johnson attended Rees Elementary kind, loving and generous and making our School and made friends quickly. She later community great. We recognize you for would attend Spanish Fork High School. the great family you have raised and serv- It wasn’t long before she met her future ing our community in every way you can husband. She and her best friend LuAnn to make life enjoyable for those around went for a drive with some other girls. you. To contact LaMaida Johnson, you Right near Main Street, the car stopped. may visit or write to Beehive Homes, care “We weren’t sure what was wrong and of LaMaida Johnson, 1015 S. 550 West, soon realized the car was out of gas, and Salem, UT 85653.
A new exhibit featuring oil paintings is now on display at the Peteetneet Museum.
Construction is being completed on the expansion of American Leadership Academy’s elementary school. ALA is a charter school in Spanish Fork serving students from kindergarten to 12th grade.