Story By Bonnie Bing - Photography By Kacy Meinecke
Ask J.V. Johnston where he likes to chill out and it takes him about a second to respond: “our screened-in porch.”
J.V. and his wife of 35 years, Veronica, live in an area where a man-made stone-lined stream flows close to their back yard. J.V. laughed and said, “She asked me what I thought about having a screened-in porch and I told her we’d talk about it. She said, ‘OK, but the guy is coming Monday to do it.’”
Seven years later he’s still glad she made that call. “We get a breeze, but not a gale force wind,” he said. “I just love to take a nap here, look at the trees, and see the birds going in and out.” When I commented he looked too tall to lie down, he demonstrated. A back cushion comes down and a throw pillow is positioned just right, his legs go over and he’s in his favorite position in his favorite space.
After being in the clothing business for 36 years, J.V. is now the vice president for university advancement at Newman University. His wife is still at Johnston’s Clothiers. They have four sons, three grandsons and two granddaughters. No wonder the living room was filled with flowers for Mother’s Day.
Sitting up now but leaning back in his spot on the couch, he said, “This is great because I feel like I’m in the middle of nature. I love to be outside.” But he’s not always sitting or prone when he’s enjoying the outdoors. He is a triathlete. He’s done five half Ironman competitions that cover 70.3 miles through swimming, biking and running. When he’s training, he runs about 18 miles a week. “Right now I’m running about 10 miles a week and biking 110 miles,” he said. He’s going to Colorado in August to compete.
With that training regime, it’s no surprise he likes to relax, read, nap and have evening chats with his wife on the porch.
“It’s pretty out here in the fall, too. It’s pretty all the time. The sunsets are beautiful. We planted these trees, fed them and watered them and now they’re a canopy. We enjoy this spot so much.”