Interview With Frederick Johnson

From the interview with Frederick Johnson of Port Townsend conducted by Oran DeBois at the Fort Worden History Center on November 12, 2002. Mr. Johnson was the music teacher and band director at the Fort Worden Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Here he talks about the band program and some of the residents:

“We had all age groups, from youngsters who were exceedingly bright to those who were not so bright, fun to work with. I would take them on trips to play concerts. We played at half time at basketball games in town. My wife and I would take the two huge station wagons we had on the Fort and we’d load them up with the band and the instruments and take them to Seattle and we’d play at a girls’ treatment center in Seattle. It was quite interesting. Some of the youngsters would run, they called it “ramble.” They would steal cars and burglarize homes (nearby). I lived just up the hill, so I told the kids, ‘Anytime you want to ramble, just stop by my house and I’ll pack you a lunch.’ They never came to my house but they stole cars all the way around it.”

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