Monday, February 15, 2016

On This Day: My Annual Note from Capt. Smith

PLEASE NOTE: This is the final official post to the Johnny Weaver Blog. See the note above for information about the consolidation of this blog with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway website.

It is fitting that the final post here should be the note I receive from Capt. Michael Smith each year around the anniversary of Johnny's death. Capt. Smith was Johnny's Captain and immediate supervisor at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office where Johnny continued to work up until the day he died.

I have only met Capt. Smith in person on one occasion, but we have shared a friendship over the years since Johnny's death via e-mail. His letters have always moved me, and his heartfelt words in Johnny's memory speak volumes about the man he is and of the man that Johnny was.

- Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


February 13, 2016

Hope all is well. I think about this guy all the time.

My plan is to retire this year for sure, just don’t know when yet.  My friend Johnny Weaver was working just a little longer so he could retire with medical benefits.

Well that time again has come February 15, 2008, I continue to think about this day, this time of year, and this person.  I never looked at Johnny as a celebrity, our relationship was not even based on that and I would probably bet Johnny never based any of his relationships on being a celebrity or being with a celebrity. I assume he did it on pure friendship that was the way he did it.  I wish everybody could have the honor and privilege that I had to work with this individual.  The loyalty, ethics, moral, and commitment he had it was unprecedented.   The stories he would tell, I do not know if they were true but they sure were good to hear.  I guess that is why they call them stories.  They must have had fun back in those days and I am sure everything they did was incredible.  He did say they all got mad one time because Andre the Giant was riding with them and so he could he ride they had to take the seats out of the car and everybody was mad but nobody could do anything about it.  He said sometimes they partied like there was no tomorrow or until they got to the next match.  I did ask him one time how much Andre could drink and he said one time he drank 2 cases of beer and a whole bottle of Jack Daniels.  I asked Johnny how they got him out of the car.  He said that did nothing to Andre.

Some of the information Johnny shared I will keep with me because some are still alive.  It is not as much as what Johnny did, it was just how he did it and how he built friendships and what they meant to him.  It’s just not like that anymore in the world we live in.

I don’t really think it is fair to say Johnny worked for me in his career.  I wish and think we all worked for him I only hope he thinks that.  He was only going to work a little longer and then retire.

The day when all this unfolded and the days to come will remain in my mind as long as I have one.  When I went back to his house after all the events took place there it was the world famous traveling Cadillac sitting right there in plain sight up close and personal.  Only if that car could talk.  When we arrived I can remember walking up those steps and into the back door.  Looking out seeing were Johnny worked in his garden cultivating the fruit and vegetables he wanted.  When we walked in it was Johnny all the way, neat, orderly, a notebook with daily entries and what was in it is between us, but I will say Johnny Weaver was a very smart, intelligent, particular, planning, and attentive man.

He was still dedicated to exercising and working hard.  When we went into his house and to the right at the end of the hallway was a closet.  There was something different but it was kind of dark and as we got closer you could see a bar across the bottom of it.  When you looked on the floor in front of this door where there was supposed to be carpet there was a big hole, well a hole were the carpet was worn and gone.  It was like this because that is where Johnny did his sit-ups everyday still staying in shape and hanging maintaining his health so he could hang with the young guys.  There was other clues exhibited to tell us he must have recently come back from his morning exercise routine when it all happened.  Many don’t realize at his age he was in extremely abundant shape.  We believe by the things we observed and found that he was up and out early that morning and exercising real hard I would bet the farm on it.

Johnny had a story to tell but he never wrote it in his words but told it the way he wanted to tell it.  Some got it and maybe some didn’t.  I think I got the best part of it.  I understand it, some of it I can’t do and will never be able to.  He told a fantastic story and if you missed his clues then you missed his story.  I got it, I believe it and I am thankful he shared it with me and I hope so many others got it.  It was a word to the wise.  However he lived his life before we met is his business, what he did is his business, but from what I witnessed and learned I couldn’t do nothing for him.  He did a lot for me and I can only hope for so many others what they received from Johnny in the lesson and friendship I so graciously witnessed. 

I will cherish his friendship the remainder of my life and I am gracious for having the greatest employee and friend one could have had for the rest of my life.

How lucky I have been. I miss you, Sleeper Man. 

Captain Michael Smith
Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office