Linda Siert Johnson

Profile Updated: March 15, 2021
Residing In: Omaha, NE USA
Spouse/Partner: Dick
Occupation: college prof (retired)
Children: 2 girls; 6 grandchildren--3 boys and 3 girls, and all came as part of the package in our daughters' More…second marriages.

Update: lost 3 grandchildren through daughter Tracy's divorce. Down to just three: two girls and a boy in Carrie's family in Florida.
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After high school graduation I went to Carleton College with Dan Olson, Betty (who soon became Liz) Williams, and Julie Dickinson. I graduated in '65 and got a Masters degree in English Lit from Cornell University in '67, the same year I married Dick, a young attorney in Omaha who swept me off my feet (literally) when he arranged for us to take a helicopter ride over New York City during a trip he invited me on during my Thanksgiving break in '65.

After we got married, I finished my PhD at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, taught at UNL and UNO until Carrie, our first daughter, arrived in 1974. Tracy came two years later and I was a stay-at-home Mom involved with volunteer work, golf, the girls and the girls' horses until about 1989. The girls were competitive swimmers, gone from dawn's early light until dark, so I went back to teaching (at UNO) until Dick retired, about 1996.

Since then, we've done some great trips (Egypt, China, Alaska, this year Africa), I've played a lot of golf, and have become an avid if not particularly accomplished gardener.

I still love to read, enjoy movies, the symphony, and local theater. I take a continuing interest in politics, have spent some time campaigning for Democratic candidates, and particularly enjoy being a walking scorer for the Doral Golf Tournament each winter in Florida when we visit our older daughter (St. Pete) and my brother ( Miami).

Our younger daughter lives in Omaha and, while I was quite certain when I graduated from Westside I'd never return here to live, it sure looks like I have and it sure looks like I'm likely to remain here for good. Life does have its little surprises, doesn't it?

Update for 2021: Still enjoy traveling—Turkey, Hudson Bay to see polar bears, a couple of trips to Utah, Yellowstone in the winter, Costa Rica (missed seeing a Quetzal), and we should be making a trip to the Galapagos in May that we intended to make in April of 2020.

Fortunately golf can still be fun even when one's skills have eroded, though it's rare when I don't mentally register at least once a round how much better I was at almost everything to do with the game when I was younger. At least sociability is part of the game, too, and that's still okay.

About six years ago I decided I'd like to help out at the Omaha Literacy Center. Foolishly, I thought teaching at the most basic level would be easiest. Definitely wrong. Teaching adults how to read when they've never learned generally involves overcoming some sort of learning disability.

The Literacy Center became overambitious in chasing after government funds and went belly-up, but I've stayed with a few of the students. The main one is Carroll, an 80-year old ex-truck driver. His reading vocabulary was minute and has now gotten up to around 300 words. He can read "Green Eggs and Ham" almost without help, but it's astonishing he made it through all his 80 years—driving between Omaha and Oklahoma with livestock freight, no less—with that little ability to read. I'll try to get a picture of us up in the photos gallery above.

I'm pretty sure I've learned as much or more in the process than Carroll has.

School Story:

Perhaps because what is painful is also what is often most memorable, I have trouble forgetting those awful sessions in Junior High when Mrs. Meadows "conducted" the "choral readings." Aaargh!!!

I also remember the Social Studies teacher (though not her name) for our 7th grade year who quit because we were so awful (actually, because she lost control) when we kept throwing spitballs and flicking bobby pins into the acoustical tile on the ceiling of the classroom. That memory figured large when I decided to get a PhD so I wouldn't have to face teenagers as a teacher.

Among my favorite memories are the car, bus and train trips we took to out-of-town football and basketball games, the band's trip to the Orange Bowl, dances at Peony Park, Mr. Glidden's wearing a coathanger in his sport coat, and riding to school with Julie Dickinson in her model "A," where everything we saw out the window was herky-jerky just like an old-time movie.

Does anyone else remember the debate we had over whether the pep club should wear white gloves to games or not? Does anyone remember what we decided?

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Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 12:18 AM