Get to know you Monday--Dave Johnston

Today we're getting to know
Dave Johnston

author of Bro Jo's Guide to Relationships for LDS Young Single Adults and Bro Jo's Guide to Casual Group Dating for LDS Youth.

1. What is your favorite food? Cheeseburgers, all kinds. It’s very difficult for me to drive by an In-and-Out Burger without stopping. The 8 hour drive from my house to the In-and-Out in Sandy seems a lot shorter than it used to.
2. Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Vanilla, but I load it up with stuff like peanut butter, chocolate syrup and crushed pretzels. (Don’t laugh! It’s the pretzels that make it good.)
3. What is one food you despise? As I get older I’m less picky about food but, for reasons psychologically unknown, I can’t eat fish. I can eat tuna (weird, I know), but not fish. In fact, if it’s really fishy smelling, I can’t even be in the room.
4. What was your favorite childhood picture book? Richard Scarry books were my favorite. I also loved Curious George by H.A. Rey.
5. Is there a book that changed your life? Several. I remember very clearly when and where I gained my own personal testimony of the Book of Mormon (4th floor, University of California – Irvine Main Library), but I’ve also gleaned pearls of wisdom from lots of authors. I love to read biographies and management books. Now, Discover Your Strengths was revelatory for me, and I’m adding it to the curriculum at the college where I teach.
6. If you go back in time, where would you go? Not very far. I don’t know that I could survive long without a computer and a microwave! I think I’d be more interested than seeing an event than a location. As a history nut, I think it would be really cool to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
7. What is your favorite sport? As a coach, and father of athletes, it’s tough to narrow it down. I LOVE to watch football, but I also enjoy wrestling, baseball, basketball, and track. I enjoyed playing ice hockey the most.
8. What is your favorite kind of music? For me it’s the talent of the musician that makes music enjoyable. A typical mixed CD that I burn could have top 40’s hits, heavy metal, rock, old school country and rap (always edited) on it. I sing Christmas songs all year long. You may catch me singing show tunes, but I’ll deny it.
9. Do you like to dance? Yeah, I kind of do. I recommend dancing with careless abandon in non-sacred public places on a regular basis.
10. Do you play a musical instrument? I played trumpet through the 9th grade, and I’ve messed around with the piano and various instruments my kids play, but I’m not good at any of them.
11. What are three adjectives that best describe you? Communicative, Annalytical, and Grateful
12. What is the strangest thing you ever did? Well . . . one of the many strange things I’ve done is that I was a dancer in a Billy Idol video club scene. Look as hard as you want, you’ll never find me.
13. What was a favorite adulthood event? My sealing to Sister Jo and the subsequent trips we’ve been on, as a couple and as a family, are my favorite memories.
14. What was a favorite childhood memory? I lived for Christmas morning!
15. What are your hobbies? I’m a jock-geek; I love sports and computers.
16. Are you a beach, country, or city person? City. I love Boston and Manhattan.
17. What super-power would you most like to have, and why? The ability to heal others; there’s nothing cooler than that.
18. Do you prefer sweet or salty foods? Both together!
19. Are you a collector of anything? Kind of; I’m a trivia junkie, so in a way I’m a collector of information.
20. What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night? Watch a movie as a family. We rotate so everyone gets a turn to pick.
21. Were you named after anyone? My middle name, William, is my dad’s first name, and because of that all of the Jo kids have family names as middle names.
22. Do you like your handwriting? Cursive, no; my printing is okay. I’m perhaps a little too proud of the fact that I can write upside down.
23. What are you favorite smells? Coconut and Vanilla.
24. What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? Children (and I thank Sister Jo for them often).
25. What was the best decision you’ve ever made? Marrying Sister Jo, hands down.

Age 2, 1972

Dave as Peter Pan, 1990 Disneyland Brochure

Dave and his sister, 1987

Senior year, 1987

Newlyweds, 1991

New house in Montana, 1997

Mount Saint Helen, 2006

Johnston family, 2007
Photo by Love St Photography

Extra on Alien Nation. Dave also appeared on LA Woman and Doogie Howser

As with most good ideas I’ve had, I started the “Dear Bro Jo” blog in response to a comment made by Sister Jo. The goal is to create a place where LDS teens and young single adults can go to ask questions, where they can get gospel-centered advice—anonymously if they want—that’s personal, relevant, straightforward, and given with a little bit of love and humor. The growth of the blog is astounding because our readers aren’t just casual internet surfers; they’re real people with thoughtful, personal questions. The site isn’t browsed, it’s pondered. Yes, the blog takes a great deal of my time, but the relationships I’ve made, the people I hope I’ve helped in some small way, make every moment worth it.

The nickname “Bro Jo” was given to me by a young woman in one of my seminary classes over a decade ago; it just kind of stuck.

1 comment

  1. Nice to get to know you, Bro Jo. I am going to direct my teen boys to your blog! Your books sound great for them too. Thanks for letting us get to know you.