Sunday, December 6th, the Kimble County Library Board invites you to visit London, (Texas that is), and enjoy the hospitality of four families who live in the London area. The homes of Jerry and Judy Johnson, Em and Glen Carnett, Carla and Andy Ivins, and Bill and Alli Johnson will be open for your viewing pleasure from 1:30 until 5:00 P.M.
Tickets for this event are available at the homes. Coming from Mason the first home will be on Erna Rd. in Mason County. Turn right onto Erna Rd. and the home of Bill and Allie Johnson is at the top of the hill. Tickets with directions on the back are available there. Directions to the homes are on the back of the tickets. Cost of the tour, which includes a visit to the four homes, and refreshments, is $10.00.
Our London neighbors support the Kimble County Library, and as we in Junction enjoy reading of their activities it was a board decision to highlight London on this years tour.
London has been an active community during the past years, and as people retire and relocate to London, the increase in population, and the involvement of these new residents in planned activities rejuvenates the enthusiasm of the past.
This year’s host and hostesses came to the London area at different times and for different reasons. Jerry and Judy Johnson retired from San Angelo, Texas, in 2001, he from sales, and she from banking. Their land was purchased in the 1930’s by N.M. Johnson, Jerry’s dad, and is part of what was the Mogford land in the Saline Community. This was the home place where Jerry grew up so in essence he was "coming home." He and Judy remodeled what was called "The Lodge." When Jerry was a child it was two rooms for the family of seven with no electricity or running water. Today it is quite modern but still has historic ties to its origin.
In 1976 Glen and Em Carnett purchased their property just off 377 N. that had been part of the Martin Ranch. This property was known locally as the "Blue Hole", because it had a deep pool of water that was used for swimming and hauling water in the twenties.
Em and Glen are originally from Midland where they still maintain a home. Glen was involved in operating and building car wash and lube centers in West Texas. Em was superintendent of recreation for the city of Midland. Her job included teaching swimming, tennis, running, art and mid-management seminars.
In 2008 the Carnetts completed their limestone home. They enjoy their large, beamed wrap-around porch as well as the carefully planned interior of the home. The front door, with hand etched glass, stained glass and boasting a Texas star, is from the early 1800’s rescued from a house in Austin.
The ranch is well equipped with livestock working and switching pens, a large hay barn, covered storage shelves, equipment shop, large central heating and cooling workshop small bunkhouse and separate garage. Look for three working windmills with storage tanks.
Andy and Carla Ivins came to enjoy and be a part of Kimble County. They purchased their land just off cemetery road and lived in the existing home and built a large barn to host their gatherings of family and friends, and to house an office for Andy. Both the Ivins grew up in Houston and the Galveston Bay area. They migrated inland to San Antonio where Andy established his law practice and they lived there fourteen years. The Ivins have two children, a son Drew who lives in Chile and a beautiful daughter Darby who will graduate from UTSA in December.
Alli and Bill Johnson live on the Erna Rd. in Mason County. They moved here from Georgia permanently after the death of Bill’s dad followed by the death of their ranch foreman. Bill, son of James and Thelma Johnson grew up in Erna, attended Long Mountain, and London schools and graduated from Mason High School. Bill and Alli met at Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia where Bill was an English professor. Alli was a native of Augusta and still has family and many friends there.
Alli said it was not hard for her to come to love this rural area, for though Augusta, Georgia, is "flat as a flitter" and the second largest city in Georgia, her relatives lived in rural and mountainous Tennessee, so her love of that area was a catalyst for her quick adjustment to and her love of the Texas Hill Country.
The first year of the Johnson’s life in Texas was very special, as they spent far more time with each other and learned (or re-learned in Bill’s case), more about animal health than they had ever thought imaginable. They still do a good bit of farming and ranching, with the help of an excellent worker, raising cattle and goats, and growing coastal and haygrazer.
Blessed with good neighbors, both near and no-so-far, the Johnson have made a wonderful life in this area, in spite of, or perhaps because of, its distance from the hullabaloo of the city.