BOISE Hundreds of friends a whos who in political, legal, historical and literary circles gathered in Barber Park to celebrate the life of retired Supreme Court Justice Byron Johnson, who died Dec. 9, 2012.
This is exactly what Byron would like to see, said former Gov. Cecil Andrus, surveying the crowd.
Friends remembered several practice wakes that Johnson held when he was younger, and in that spirit, the event included music, toasts, poetry, the Idaho City Marching Kazoo Band and other festivities not to mention four cases of wine, a keg of beer and 12 large bottles of George Dickel Whisky, Johnsons favorite.
The wake ended with a traditional Dixieland funeral march, complete with festive umbrellas and a borrowed coffin Johnson was cremated.
Byron is here and hes having a wonderful time, said his wife, Patricia Young.
This is sad and happy, said Trudy Jackson, owner of Trudys Kitchen in Idaho City, who catered the event. Happy that we honored him. Sad that we lost a wonderful man and incredible historian.
Johnson was a Supreme Court justice from 1987-1999. He recently published a memoir called Poetic Justice.