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My Turn: I appreciated ‘Hamilton,’ and its creator

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote "Hamilton" and starred in

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote "Hamilton" and starred in it until earlier this month, responded to a thank-you note with one of his own. Credit: Invision / Charles Sykes

I grew up the oldest of five siblings in Levittown, a most lovely place for families. We originally came from the city when I was 13. Levittown was like the country, our own little bit of heaven.

We didn’t have much really, in comparison to our friends — but we were rich in so many different ways. My parents shared with us a love of reading and our town library became a second home. So much there to discover and share.

At home, a daily ritual for us was to wait our turn to read the daily newspaper, which we did over our Wheaties or Cheerios. Many current events were discussed over a family meal, and yes. we always ate together.

I was the leader and organizer of our little group of five, What I learned in that role has fared me well over the course of time.

We enjoyed our TV favorites — Ed Sullivan, The Smothers Brothers, holiday specials with Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, to name a few.

We all shared music and entertainment. We were introduced to Broadway theater — not by actually going, but by these television shows, the radio and, of course, school plays. We couldn’t afford to go to New York City to see a play, but that didn’t stop us from belting out tunes from “The Sound of Music” or “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Quite a few times, I draped my bedsheet into a “gown” and descended our staircase to sing opera for my family when they least expected it. I’ve never forgotten how I made them laugh — music to my ears! They screamed for encores. I must add God chose not to bless me with any vocal talent. That didn’t stop me though.

As with all families, we survived good and bad times, sprinkled with sad losses. We always had each other and adored our imperfect parents, who always did the best they could.

Once I was out of school and working, I always planned on saving a little bit of money to be able to go to a weekend matinee in the city. I saw my first show at age 19 and was hooked. That night made me really fall in love with the theater. I’ve been going for almost 40 years now. Thank goodness for discounts! It’s my joy, and I treasure every experience.

This past January, I had the honor of attending a performance of “Hamilton” with my sisters. We, as well as everyone else in the country, had heard what a wonderful show this was.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius, pure and simple. From the very first moment “Hamilton” started, we were transfixed by his powerful words, beautiful lyrics and the reintroduction to the story of an immigrant American hero.

Miranda has given us a gift that cannot be measured. The message of “Hamilton” connects us all. I was so touched on so many levels by his humility, his perception and kindness. This was the best play I had ever seen.

I wrote Mr. Miranda to tell him that. I was thankful to be part of the audience. Imagine my surprise when he responded to my note. He thanked me and was happy my sisters and I enjoyed it so.

We all know Lin-Manuel Miranda is the “man of the hour,” yet with all his work and accomplishments, he took time to reach out to me. I was over the moon and so touched my his generosity of spirit. I will treasure in my heart his words, his sincere talent, but most of all, his kindness. He is love, love and love, and don’t we all agree we all need that?

Jenny Johnson,


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