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Richard Johnson and his wife, Meg Scott Johnson, love Mo-Ranch so much they moved to Kerrville just to be closer to it.

“Mo-Ranch is holy ground,” Richard said. “I had a spiritual experience there.”

They have a long history with Mo-Ranch, both separately and as a couple.

Combined, the two have been visiting Mo-Ranch for over six decades.

Originally from Orange, Texas, Richard’s first visit to Mo was with his mother in the early 1950s when she attended the Women’s Conference.

It was his first time seeing a low water crossing.

“We went in the original gate, and I remember playing in the river and high school kids building the dam that is there in front of the canoes,” he said.

As a teenager, Richard was part of the Mo-Ranch summer staff, working for O.O. West, who picked him up from the Kerrville bus stop.

That summer, Richard did everything, from mopping up floors and making lemonade to serving at the dining hall.

“I was a flunky, which meant I did anything he asked me to do,” he said.

A few memories stick out during Richard’s time on the Mo staff.

One is cleaning the floor of what is now the Mabee Registration Building.

“I put lots of soap in the water, and I washed that floor down. Then, when I started to rinse it, I just got soap everywhere, so I had to call home to ask what to do,” he said.

Another memory involves getting messy at the dining hall.

“Dessert was some type of pastry over jam, and I was bringing out a tray of something like 50 of them. I stumbled and fell, and it went all over me,” he said. “Boy, did I have to go see O.O. West in the office.

Meg’s first time to the ranch was when she came with her church, Bellaire Presbyterian Church.

“We drove in the old entrance and stayed in Loma Linda,” she said. “We girls wore dresses and skirts.”

She remembers having to take a swim test before getting in the river.

“Everybody had to — adults, teens, youth — you could not go in the river unless you had a little ribbon tag,” Meg said. “To get your river pass, you had to swim the length, down and back, of the swimming pool, and you had to swim the width underwater. You also had to dog paddle for five minutes.”

She didn’t return to Mo-Ranch until after high school with her family, who were members of St. Philip Presbyterian Church.

Then, in 1987, Meg was a co-presenter at the Women’s Conference. The next year, she was asked to be the director of the 1989 Women’s Conference.

She made good friends while directing the Women’s Conference, and she comes to Mo every year for the conference.

Meg was also instrumental in organizing A Safe Place: A Retreat for Bereaved Parents.

In 2003, fate brought the couple together when Richard joined St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston, where Meg was also a member.

“I knew of him from there, but we really didn’t meet until we were both at Mo,” she said. “We were sitting at the river, and he came over and sat down.”

A year later, they married.

Since then, they’ve returned to Mo for various conferences, family events and even the Polar Bear Plunge. They are also members of the Guadalupe Gathering and the Mo-Ranch Book Club.

Meg’s parents have a bench in St. Philip’s Grove and the couple plans to be interned at the Columbarium.

Their passion for Mo is shared with their family. Their grandson attends day camp and even did a watercolor painting of Mo for an art project.

For the couple, it’s Mo’s scenery and spirituality that keeps bringing them back.

“It’s an exceptional piece of property,” Richard said. “It’s a wonderful getaway.”




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