Johnson had on
s in class discussion
Drawn to art
Pam Johnson works on one of her
paintings at home. Originally a
music major, she returned to school
when she developed a passion for
Take a ride
Johnson gets cozy in her 1965 Ford
Mustang. Friends recognized
Johnson not only by her own
unique look, but also by her car's,
photos by Dixie Ann Dalton
Pam Johnson, a sophomore painting major, wasn't your everyday, fresh-out-of-high-school
college student, but it wasn't just her age and experience that defied tradition.
"I love painting, traveling, ceramics, jewelry-making, going to concerts, playing the drums
gardening and watching movies," Johnson said. However, she often found herself engaging in
watercolor more than ceramics and jewelry-making because, as she put it, she had a "lack of access to
the proper supplies and also the lack of physical stamina."
Johnson was considered a non-traditional student because, like many UH students, she did
not start her college journey directly after completing high school. She first started college at the
age of 23. Her original major was music, and she played the drums. After attending for several
semesters, she decided to take a break from school and moved to Houston from Toledo, Ohio.
However, when painting struck her interest in 1999, she decided to go back to school.
"I wanted to go back to school
because I hadn't ever finished
before. Also, I was getting
interested in art and painting and
I wanted to learn more about the
different mediums involved in
those areas. I like to learn new
things. I feel that when I'm
learning, I'm growing and
expanding my consciousness,"
While selling flowers at
local night clubs, she not only
established an income, but she also
met all types of friends, whom she
referred to as "cool and interesting
people." Since she was a regular on
the night-life scene, she was able to
introduce her musician friends to
the night club owners - which
often led to paying gigs for her
Johnson's typical weekday
would be mostly consumed by
school. The leftover time in her day
True friends forever
Johnson cradles one of her four
cats while other pets gather at
her feet. She looked to animals
for companionship when she
wasn't at school or cruising
photo by Dixie Ann Dalton
was spent doing housework and hanging out with
some of her truest companions, her animals.
"All of my animals were strays that I rescued
off the streets. I have three dogs and four cats. My
dogs' names are Sachi, Johnny Zaboo and Maui. My
cats' names are Pink, Floyd, Boris Badenov
(pronounced 'Bad-E-Nuf') and Natasha Fatale.
The most rewarding thing I've ever done was rescue
my animals off the road... because they are now
survivors when they could have died from
starvation or being run over, and now those things
are no longer possible."
Among Johnson's most honorable
accomplishments are being on the Dean's List at
UH. She also received first place recognition and
a plaque for her 1965 Mustang Fastback for its all-
original, unrestored condition.
"That's my baby!" Johnson said of her car.
She could also be seen around town in her 1995 Ford T-Bird.
"I love to travel. One of my favorite things to do is take a trip to
an exotic place that I have never seen before. I've already been
to several places in Hawaii, Acapulco and Negril, Jamaica. I
would ultimately like to reside on Maui or Kawai (Hawaii)."
Unfortunately, Johnson was involved in a few car accidents
during a five-year period, and they altered her life. But she
still keeps her head up and has a fun time enjoying life. When
asked about her goals, Johnson was quick to remember the
lessons she'd learned.
"Well, if you would have asked me for my goals five years
ago, I would have replied by saying that I wanted to play live
music in a band, but the accident has changed that," Johnson
"So currently, my ultimate goal would be to have enough
success (at selling my artwork) to be able to own my own studio
that would allow me to produce, create and sell a mixed medium
of art such as paintings, jewelry, ceramics and sculptures."
by Dixie Ann Dalton
"That's my baby!"
Johnson shows off her pride and joy, bragging that the Mustang is all-original
and unrestored. She also drove a 1995 Thunderbird.
photo by Dixie Ann Dalton