Where are they now? Lisa Johns
This Nanty Glo native was born Lisa Berish on Novemvber 23, 1967. One of three children, Lisa is a sister to Jan and Patricia, both of whom reside in east central Pennsylvania.
A 1986 graduate of Blacklick Valley High School and Admiral Peary Vocational-Technical School, Lisa was active in chorus, the school newspaper, student council, Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, and JROTC, where she learned leadership skills. Lisa earned her cosmotology license upon her graduation from Admiral Peary.
Married to Belsano native Ronald Johns since her senior year in high school, Lisa and Ron are the parents of Ronald "Jamie," Jr., 16, and Emily Rae, 13.
Lisa is currently employed as a paraprofessional with the Shippensburg School District where she provides educational support to Special Education students.
The tragic death of her mother, Rose Marie (Berish) and Edward Smith in a car accident May 14, 1983, affected the lives of Lisa and her two sisters for many years. "When my parents were killed, I grew up overnight. I was a freshman in high school, my sister Jan was 12 and had just graduated from eighth grade, and my sister Patricia was 10 and in fifth grade. With the help of relatives and the three of us sticking together we were able to overcome the tragedy, but it was many years before it really set in, and then I went to counseling.
"Now to look back, I realize things happen for a reason and you have to take something bad and turn it into something good. In a quote from a 1991 Nanty Glo Journal article, Bill Martin said I have turned my scars into stars. I'm now able to help others who have had similar tragedies because I've been there and done that."
Having left the Blacklick Valley area with husband Ron in 1986, Lisa, Ron, and children currently live in Newburg, population 250, where Lisa is the town president. She presides over town meetings, settles disputes, and is currently in the process of redoing all of the town's ordinances.
"I get back 'home' frequently...I still have family there. My grandmother lives in Patton. My hope for the area: maybe someday it could get some industry...maybe the mines could reopen, I'm sure there's lots of coal left there.
"My favorite memories of Nanty Glo are of high school, and my family, of just being around the people I grew up with. The closeness of knowing people all your life."
In an email message, Lisa Johns had this final thought: "Thanks for doing this...it may help those kids who might find tough times in their lives...and show them, they too can overcome a tragedy."
Anyone wishing to send greetings can find Lisa at Lisaann@Pa.net.
Click here for an earlier letter to the Home Page remembering Lisa's mother.
If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DATING (outside the family)
Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date. Be aggressive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago."
Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10 p.m.; others might say "Monday." If the latter is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.
—Sent by Mike Harrison
11. It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill...just add a little dirt.
12. A successful marriage isn't finding the right person, it's being the right person.
13. The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.
14. Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.
The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.
—Sent by Mike Harrison