Utah Stories introduces you to some of downtown’s most visible, vibrant characters.
Salt Lake City has a population of over 1 million people now. But most are invisible. Here is your chance to meet some of the people who are challenging the norm and are maybe living lives quite different from yours.
A Reason For War
by Peter Killingsworth Maybe
Elizabeth A. Johnson
(Mrs. Ray I. Johnson)
92 years-old 90 lbs 5’ 2”
Status: At War
We caught up with Elizabeth A. Johnson as she was walking home from Smith’s along 500 East. Elizabeth is a sweet-mannered 92-year-old who speaks clearly and can still walk quickly and upright. After getting the basics on her outings: she only goes on long walks when her energy is good— which is about half the time now due to her recent diagnosis of diabetes, Johnson said she is being completely taken advantage of in her old age. She has been the victim of two blatant fraudulent scams since she sold her home and property in Park City to move to downtown Salt Lake City.
According to Johnson, a local assisted-living facility in Salt Lake City has stolen thousands of dollars worth of property from her, including silverware, rugs and jewelry. While the facility’s employees attended to her care, they also cleaned out her wallet of cash several times. And according to Johnson, neither the management of the care facility nor the police have done anything about the crime. “The [facility] claims I have dementia. But I can tell you I’m perfectly healthy and [the facility] is full of crooks. (Utah Stories has omitted the names of the facilities until we can offer them the opportunity to comment).
Johnson said that she intends to fight back against both the assisted-living facility as well as her new residence. “It’s going to be war,” she said.
After leaving the assisted living facility, she purchased a $450,000 condominium. Neither the real estate agent nor the HOA informed her there would be 10 straight weeks of construction beginning next week. Johnson said the HOA president requested an additional $2,500 before she had even unpacked. “All that he told me was, ‘buyer beware’,” Johnson added, “He is the most arrogant man I have ever met.” Neither the HOA nor the real estate agent said anything about the additional fees and the construction. Johnson said that she is “fed up with Salt Lake City,” to the point where all the benefactors of her fortune will no longer receive a penny.
Mrs. Johnson says she reads the Wall Street Journal daily and meets the delivery driver at the door every morning at 4:30 AM. She commented on how much she enjoys Peggy Noonan’s column. She laughed as she remembered the cartoons in today’s paper. Mrs. Johnson gave up her license to drive a car over 10 years ago because of her fear of new drivers who didn’t know how to handle their vehicles.
Johnson’s husband served as a special agent in the F.B.I. under the Hoover administration from 1942 to 1951. He then started a very successful construction company in Marin County, California. Johnson said her husband died of Lou Gehrig’s disease 20 years ago.
Utah Stories plans to investigate Johnson’s claims by contacting the facilities, the police and those who she mentions. We will provide a follow-up story in a future issue.