Anton Chekov said, "We shall find peace. We shall hear angels. We shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." Two local angels named Charles and Joyce Johnson have devoted a lifetime to finding that sky. Their quiet but meaningful efforts, from initiating the local peace vigil in Falmouth to steadfastly working toward a world without hate, have touched thousands of lives in the decades they have waged their tranquil but unyielding battle to make the world a better place.
On Tuesday, January 13, 80 supporters of peace and the Johnsons gathered at the Moonakis Cafe to honor and pay tribute to Falmouth's life-long advocates of peace and justice. The event was organized by the Johnson's fellow peace vigiler Paul Rifkin (owner of the Moonakis Cafe) and Peter Waasdorp (a member with the Johnsons of the Upper Cape Green/Rainbow Party).
Peace and justice activists from all over Cape Cod filled the restaurant and showered the Johnsons with love and respect.
Music was provided by Flipside (Melissa Weidman and Christo LoCascio). Many presentations (poems, anecdotes, speeches, drawings, gifts, songs both vocal and instrumental) were made by those attending.
Highlights of the evening were tributes presented by Kathy Schatzberg, President of Cape Cod Community College and by Jill Stein, Chairman of the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party.
Two of Charles and Joyce's sons (Todd and Dan) shared songs and family stories.
Some who were not able to join in the celebrations sent their thoughts: "Dear Charles and Joyce, Oh seasoned stalwarts of the progressive movement, at the celebration of your contributions to peace and justice, by friends and comrades. Your calmly persuasive manner is reassuring to us. Your ongoing participation in the struggle is a challenge for us all to do more. And you remind us that the good fight is not an merely an event- but a way of life," said Dr. Brian O'Malley, Administrator, Cape Care Coalition.
The Johnsons teach us as much with their style as with the content of their message. Kind, gentle and always offering a tandem warm smile, the Johnsons way of life, is indeed, as described by Dr. O'Malley, a reassuring blueprint for peace - of both the inner and world varieties.
Cape Cod Today blogger Paul Rifkin contributed to this story.