My Good Friend W. C. J. Passed Away
May 19, 1936 – August 25, 2018
September 1, 2018
I have known W.C.J. since about the mid 1980’s. I first came to know W.C.J. when I was introduced to him by the late John Eden. Both John and W.C.J. were Civil War relic hunters with years of experience digging up Civil War relics with a metal detector. I also metal detect for Civil War relics and ended up purchasing both of their collections. A friendship was born and W.C.J. more commonly known as “Lucky Freddie” spent countless hours in the woods and fields of Central Virginia with me and my digging partner Joe Troy.
This continued for years until Freddie just simply could not continue due to age and health conditions. He never stopped trying. After Freddie could no longer go metal detecting he would still spend lots of time at my house and ate dinner here at least once a week. Freddie would also just stop by anytime just to pay a visit. He was always welcome.
A few years ago Freddie was driving a truck home for an auto company that hired him to drive the truck back from an auto auction. During the return trip Freddie had a heart attack while driving and wrecked the truck by running off the road. Freddie was taken to the hospital and ended up having major heart surgery to correct his heart problems. Freddie never fully recovered from this and anybody who knew him well realized this. His physical condition and mental state was never quite the same.
Freddie did return to metal detecting for short periods of time but for all practical purposes he was finished and I think he knew it. One night Freddie came over to the house and had dinner. Something was said and I don’t know exactly what happened but Freddie was very offended and he stopped coming by and did not call for weeks. After a month or so Freddie came around and things seemed fine. All was normal. Suddenly Freddie stopped calling and did not return phone calls. After a while I became worried about Freddie so I called his son, Charlie. Charlie told me that his dad had become very sick. I asked where he was but he would not tell me. I thought this was very strange and I did not understand but it was clear that they were not going to tell me anything about Freddie.
Since that time I have found myself praying for Freddie. I held his friendship very close to me. On Saturday September 1st I was traveling from Culpeper to Front Royal for a mortgage closing that I had been hired to do. As I approached Sperryville, Virginia traffic slowed. At first I thought it was an accident but then realized it was a funeral. At the instant I realized this I just happened to notice the time on my watch was 10:33. The first thing that ran through my mind was that this was Freddie’s funeral. I turned my head to look back and noticed the funeral was taking place up in the area where Freddie’s wife was buried back in 2011. I then looked down and the odometer was 333. In my heart this confirmed to me that this was Freddie’s funeral but I still did not know for sure.
I considered turning around to find out but I did not. When I arrived in Front Royal I took my iPhone and Googled Freddie’s obituary. Sure enough the funeral I just rode by was my dear friend Freddie Johnson's. I completed my closings and on the return trip stopped by the grave site and paid Freddie my respects and prayed for him as I had been doing all that day.
Sep. 6, 2018