The people who make Palm Springs like no place else
If you’ve been to VillageFest in downtown Palm Springs and were handed a small plastic flag outside of the Palm Springs American Legion Post 519 booth, chances are it was Edward G. Johnson who handed it to you. Eddie, as his friends know him, is a Purple Heart–decorated Vietnam Veteran who is still going above and beyond for his country and community, and also for other veterans. He was instrumental in bringing the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Moving Wall to Desert Hot Springs; dedicated the first POW/MIA flag in that city’s Veterans Park; and is a frequent guest speaker at schools in the Coachella Valley, where he and other veterans tell students what is was like to experience combat. Get to know Edward below.
AGE: 74 on October 1
OCCUPATION: 100% service-connected disabled veteran
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE DESERT? I’ve been here 47 years. My parents moved out here and I came out and found the heat helped me with my arthritis.
WHAT KEEPS YOU HERE? I’m in a car club that I really enjoy. I enjoy the people and the weather’s great.
DO YOU HAVE FAMILY HERE? No
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR IN THE DESERT? I like the summertime. The winter is too cold.
HOW DO YOU BEAT THE HEAT? I stay in my home with the air conditioning on or drive around in my custom PT Cruiser.
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY BY WHICH YOU LIVE? I just go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT? I don’t go out much to eat. I do like Goody’s Cafe. I really like the grilled cheese sandwiches.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING OUR COMMUNITY? Discriminating against veterans. People still try to blame us for a lot of things.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO OR PLACE TO GO IN THE DESERT? I like to go to car shows, especially the one in La Quinta on Saturdays at 7 AM at Aspen Mills on Washington.
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? I don’t really have any. Maybe eating Del Taco or Taco Bell.