Fall 2023 marks the farewell tour for Norman Johnson. Norman is known by all Rebels for his creation of the beloved Lil’ General. We all looked forward to Fall Friday’s when we’d find a Norman Johnson original in the Midland Reporter Telegram. Many of us have very fond memories of these characters and their Friday Night adventures. Each of them given life and a voice by Norman Johnson.
Many of you may not know Norman personally. So, let me tell you about him. Norman is one of the most down to earth, kindhearted, and generous people you will ever meet. He has a playful imagination and demeanor that comes out in each of his illustrations. When you see a Norman Johnson illustration, you truly are seeing the man behind the illustration. He takes great pride in his work and each one contains a part of himself.
Norman has been doing illustrations for Friday Night Football, the Oil Patch, etc. for over 40 years. Newspapers were the medium for the majority of that run. However, Norman made the transition from print to digital and for more than 10 years, he has been entertaining thousands on Facebook with his illustrations of Raider Red for football and basketball, not to mention the illustrations he continued to do for the Rebel Nation and other teams in the area.
When Midland LEE was renamed the Midland LHS, we were all saddened as the Lil' General that Norman created and entertained us with for decades said good-bye. However, Norman introduced us to a new character to represent Midland LHS and the Rebel Nation in the form of ?? Rebel. A young, playful mascot character to represent the Rebel Nation.
We all know that ?? Rebel will have a hard time filling the shoes of the Lil' General. But, as he'd say "Gimme a chance already!"
While Norman is nowhere near retiring, this will be the last season for the illustrations. It is possible that Norman may sneak one in there from time to time to say hello to all of us and show his support. I know I hope he does!
Norman has graciously agreed to draw one a farewell illustration for the Rebel Nation - The illustration many of you have seen in Rebels Ilustrated and is shown below. This illustration has brought back and old friend for one last farewell and reintroduces us to a new friend, ?? who hopes to fill the void left when our old friend departed.
Norman agreed to do this if the Rebel Nation could come together and raise money for the Midland LHS Rebel teams and spirit organizations.
Below is are two links. One is for making a donation to support the Midland LHS Rebel teams and spirit organizations. The other is so that you can send Norman a message sharing a fond memory of him or his illustrations or just to wish him well.
For years, the Lil' General by Norman Johnson represented the Midland LEE Rebels. We all remember him fondly for his gentle humor and spirit. We thank Norman for the many years he brought this little guy to life and entertained us as the Lil' General honorably represented the Rebel Nation. We will never forget him!
The loss of the Lil' General has left a void for the Midland LHS Rebels. The replacement given is a second hand rendition of an NFL mascot whose macabre stare is eerily lacking in substance or spirit.
As an alternative, Norman started introducing the Rebel Nation to a new Rebel through various Facebook posts. Though this little guy has no name as of yet, he has a hint of the gentle humor and spirit we all fell in love with in the Lil' General.
The shoes of the Lil' General will never quite be filled by this little guy, but he is a start in the right direction. I think it is time for the Rebel Nation to embrace a new friend to honor an old, never forgotten one. Won't you give this little guy a chance?
As a tribute to Norman Johnson, we are accepting donations to support the kids of Midland LHS. If you are interested in making a donation as a tribute to Norman Johnson, please select your donation amount below. Donations will be taken as summer winds down and the fall football season gears up.
At the end of the football season, donations will be tabulated and given to the organizations indicated at Midland LHS (less the payment card processing fees).
Donations of $20 or more will receive a commemorative Midland LEE Coin, Band Coin or Born A Rebel T-Shirt while supplies last. Email ATributeToNorman@gmail.com to specify what you would like to receive if you make a donation in these amounts.
Copyright © 2023 Thank You Norman Johnson from the Rebel Nation! - All Rights Reserved.