Hello, My Name Is: Freeman Johnson (Happy 101st Birthday!)

When was the last time you had the chance to meet someone new and learn a little about them? In this series, we talk with people from around the Cape and Islands by asking them a few questions about themselves and what they like about living in our community. I am thrilled to invite you to spend a little time getting to know a WWII Veteran living here on the Cape, who is celebrating his 101st birthday this month!  Freeman may be the last Pearl Harbor Survivor in Massachusetts and on March 11 he is celebrating his birthday!  Perhaps you saw him as one of the Grand Marshalls of last year’s Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Day parade, which honored our World War II Veterans.


Freeman Johnson having a laugh with Bruce Allen, president of the Washington Redskins

Hello, My Name Is: Freeman Johnson

Occupation: Retired 

What was your first paying job?
It was 1935 and I was 15 years old. One of my neighbors owned a bakery, and she hired me to mop the floor on the way home from school. I was paid $1 an hour and it took me an hour to an hour and a half. The Social Security System started at that time so I had a Social Security card and then took a penny a week out of my pay.

Freeman Johnson, 1943, US Navy

When was the last time you laughed really hard?
Just a little while ago, because my friend Judy was here. I don’t remember why, it doesn’t really matter. I laugh a lot.

Did you grow up on the Cape?
No. I am a “wash ashore.” I grew up in Waltham and lived there 65 years. My wife and I moved to Nashua, NH after I retired. She died in 2002 so I was living alone.  At age 92, I decided to come live with my daughter Diane on the Cape.  We bought a house in Centerville at that time, and I am still here today!  

Where is your “go-to” spot for a cup of chowder?
The Daily Paper on West Main Street in Hyannis.

Do you have a favorite non-profit group here on the Cape?
Cape Cod Landscape Association. I know the Executive Director, my daughter Diane.

What is the one thing you love to do that surprises people the most?
I love to go to Provincetown, the parade, the food, walking around. I take my whole family!

In a parallel universe, what would you be doing?
I’d love to be Road Runner like on the cartoon. Beep Beep!

What person had the greatest influence on you and why?
My father. When I was a child, he [and my mother] gave me the freedom to learn and explore on my own. He taught me independence, self-confidence, and how to think for myself.

If I looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I see?
Cracker Barrel Special Reserve cheese, bottle of wine, carton of milk, slab of bacon, cocktail sauce and some Coke for my summer rum and cokes!

If you could go out on a boat fishing for a day, who would you bring ? 
Harry Truman, who was the best thing that ever happened to this country. I admire his politics. He was backed up by politicians who were as crooked as they come. He never did what they told him to do, he had a mind of his own.

Freeman Johnson at his 98th Birthday in 2018

We are always looking for new people to feature in “Hello, My Name Is…”. If you know an interesting member of the Cape community, please send us their name: [email protected]. When possible, please include their contact information and a little about them.
Thank you!

Want to meet a few other folks? Click here:

Brian Sances, Cape Musician

Brian Morrison, Barnstable Police Department 

Amanda Braga-Tipton, Chaplain Candidate United States Army
Betsy Siggins, Founder of New England Folk Alliance
Tracy Post, Town of Yarmouth Selectman
Joseph Ellia, Chef
Michelle Law, Cotuit Center For The Arts
Timothy Whelan, State Representative, First Barnstable District and Ret. Massachusetts State Police
Emma Dubner, Registered Nurse, Musician (The Ticks), Music Teacher, Junior Roller Derby Coach and Mom

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.

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Hyannis, MA 02601
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