It may take a lifetime and more to accept that JohnnyWorld is in a slightly different place. Johnny Cunningham’s heart, too big for this narrowing world, has simply relocated. I think he misses the Rovers — all Rovers, on list and off — almost as much as we miss him. He was that generous.
A couple of days before the news, I had introduced myself and my friend to The Soul of Christmas video. At one point when Thomas Moore is talking to Johnny, I said, “I’ll bet he had a hard time behaving himself!” And then comes the quip about “live things.” I also said he looked good. And he did. Fit as a fiddle, indeed.
There’s so much to miss — the indescribable music, the impish intelligence, the cutting wit, the charm, and the genuine warmth. How fortunate each of us is to have had Johnny for 46 short years.
This New Year’s, perhaps my best resolution would be to be more like Johnny — to turn adversity on its head with humour and to share the joy.
Thank you for allowing us to live in JohnnyWorld, if only for a brief moment. Peace to those who loved you and to those you loved.
28 December 2003