Alfred Johnson holding Dick as a baby circa 1943

My grandfather, Alfred Johnson

My grandfather, Alfred Johnson, was born in North Tonawanda, NY on February 17, 1893. He lived in the Tonawanda area until the early 1950s, when he and my grandmother Eva moved to Lemon Grove, California. There was a brief period in the early 1920s when Alfred and Eva had a farm in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada.

Alfred worked at a variety of occupations during his life, including farming, owning a gas station and hotdog stand, and finally as a machinist. Alfred’s ancestors came from Germany and Denmark. His grandfather, Peter Johnson, was a mariner born in Denmark. This is where my Danish DNA comes from.

Alfred and Eva moved to Lemon Grove, California a few years after my parents did in 1951. They had a house a few blocks from ours on Dayton Drive. My family used to go and visit them frequently.

I don’t remember too much about Alfred, because he didn’t say much.

When he lived in Lemon Grove, Alfred liked to gamble in Tijuana, Mexico on Jai Alai matches and the dog races. He always claimed to have a “system.” One of his favorites was to bet one dog or player in combination with all the others on one of special 1-2 pick tickets they used to offer. I don’t think he ever made much money, but he used to love going to Tijuana with my grandmother.

Alfred died in lemon Grove in 1956 at the age of 63.

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