Whitesburg KY
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Readers donate 3,000 ink pens to elderly man

Mountain Eagle
readers helped an 88-year-old ink pen collector reach his goal of owning 10,000 ink pens and readers continue to send ink pens.

After reading an article about the Rev. James ‘Preacher’ Johnson in the Aug. 11 edition of The Eagle,
readers were quick to respond.

Kim Smith, Johnson’s daughter who lives in Maynardville, Tenn., said at least 3,000 ink pens have been provided by Eagle
readers who live in various parts of the United States including Las Vegas and Iowa. Smith’s brother and sister-in-law counted the pens and he has around 10,500 pens.

“When we put it in The
Mountain Eagle,
pens started coming in and they haven’t stopped,” said Smith. “My dad has reached his goal of having 10,000 ink pens mostly because of the wonderful thoughtfulness of the Mountain Eagle
readers. Mountain Eagle
readers are beyond kind.”

She said a Girl Scout troop from Whitesburg mailed Johnson a package containing about 270 ink pens.

“The Mountain Eagle
readers have truly made an impact on my dad’s life,” said Smith. “They have given him something to look forward to every day. His exact words to me were, ‘Kim, isn’t it wonderful what people are doing for me,’” said Smith.

Smith said her family is thankful and overwhelmed by everyone who sent her father a pen.

“It is amazing how one newspaper can have such an impact on someone’s life,” said Smith. “My father’s health is rapidly declining. He just celebrated his 88th birthday Nov. 26. Instead of sending pens, if anyone wants to send him a get well or a birthday card he would like that.”

Johnson, a Letcher County native who resides in Cumberland, started his pen collection about 15 years ago and has pens from as far away as Bombay, India, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Egypt.

Johnson’s sister, Eliza Jane Madden, and her husband, Ford, live in Isom. Johnson is a son of the late William and Bithie Johnson, also of Isom.

Johnson is a Pentecostal minister, a World War II Army veteran, and a retired coal miner who worked 34 years for Blue Diamond Coal Co. in Letcher County. He has been married for 64 years to Juanita and is the father of eight children. He has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Send cards to James Johnson, 42 Collins Street, Cumberland, Ky. 40823.

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