John McCaffrey retired a couple years ago and things started happening. Among this that and the other things, a door knob tree sprouted over night , strange birds, somewhat resembling old shovels, appeared around the yard; his wife, Marlene, finally got her bathroom re-done. Then out of the blue a toilet appeared in the middle of our empty field. I'm tellin' ya - things have a tendancy to get done around him.
John has more charachter than most ever hope too - You'll notice this if you ever stop by his shop while he's holding court. He's about family and friends and he lives his life believing that you can never have to many of either! Thats what this potty, this privy, this camode - this John - is all about!
All you have to do is stop by and visit him and you will see what I say is true. His friends are as different and as varried as his interests - wich are many. Everyone finds and enjoys their own side of him. One thing is for certain, Everyone loves him.
Keoma D. McCaffrey, Daughter-in-law / Partner-in-Crime
"I don't really know what to say about John, ya know? He's like a fine cut diamond with so many different facets."
Clarence Holmes, Ret. CHP and Truck Driver Extraordinare
HOW THE TOO PUBLIC TOILET FITS IN WITH THE MCCAFFREY HUMOR
"...John and Marlene McCaffrey have been fixtures in our small, "no stop lights" town, since, well…almost the year that Mr. Crapper invented the toilet. This family cares about our community and if someone here has troubles, commonly the McCaffreys and some other families pitch in to help. They put on a Bar-B-Q-Party-Dance, etc. on their large property every year and it’s the biggest thing that happens in Laytonville, except maybe the Rodeo.
Now, this "toilet trick" is just one "eye-catcher" that John has contributed to we townsfolk and the travelers who pass his shop on Hwy 101. Earlier this year, for instance, John and Marlene were driving down the State Highway (101) and around town in…not a golf cart…but some kind of homemade contraption and I just knew the cops were going to nab them and put them in an asylum. The most memorable sign I’ve ever seen in my life, is the one on the north side of his shop, which is right on the highway. In really big letters, it reads: "Don’t Forget The Magic." You might want to keep this sign in mind and if you ever get down in the dumps, think about all the priceless things you do have.
John and Marlene, Thanks from Judith and I for all the interesting things you do and say. We’re all going to continue to love you as long as you keep us "fat" at the Bar-b-Q and "sassy" with your highway antics.
Bill and Judith Bailey, Laytonville since 1946 and 1953, respectively.
"If you’re wanting to invest in the stock market John McCaffrey is the one you need to talk to."
Some people travel the world gathering wisdom and gaining knowledge from all beings who share their path. Others stay put and gather wisdom from all those who pass by.
Like a giant Redwood tree, John McCaffrey is rooted deeply to his sense of place. It is from that deep sense of self and rooted connection to his place in the world that John’s immense curiosity in, and love for people, springs forth. It is in the soothing, all-encompassing shade of that giant among all Redwoods that we know as John McCaffrey, that we gather to sit and share our stories of life and love. It is from his spring that we all gather to drink in life’s most cherished resource, our common bond to one another and to nature.
--David Paul Bayles
"John's just a free spirit just an extra neat guy."
Neighbor 30 years.
John is a very different type of a person, if you don't believe me just look at how he chooses to look. Look at the toilet on the piece of property on the highway. Makes a great conversation piece. Too bad people driving by don't know John so they could really appreciate the humor in it. John has been a very good friend through all of the years that I have known him. There isn't anything that John wouldn't do for you, he would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. His personality is one of a kind. If you travel with John you had better be ready for the unknown. One minute John will be at your side and the next minute he's gone, like Marlene says, just don't worry about him he will find us eventually. When John worked at the mill he was one of the most dependable people you could ask for, sometimes we didn't agree on just how the job was to be done, but you better believe it would always get done.(and it would always work). You just gotta love the guy.
Bob Mardock, Friend more than 30 somethin' years
"Now, I can tell you a story about John, he was workin’ at the mill; him and Jim Owmby, were workin’ on air conditioner on the LeTourneau. Well, they tried starting it up, when it finally started and he had no idea in the world how to stop it, Ol’ Jim-Chief he finally got up there in the seat and somehow managed to get the thing stopped, but in the meantime, John had drove over his own truck. Oh Shit I love john, he loves family."
Dennis Dodd, Friend 30 odd years
John and I have been friends since 1951, some 55 years. I was 15 and he was 13 years old at the time and we both had jobs as box boys at the Petaluma grocery. When he changed schools in 1952 we became best friends and have been best friends from then on. He has always been somewhat anal so when we came up 101 and saw the white toilet across from his shop, I was not surprised. I was surprised he used it as a vehicle to meet people that were traveling along the highway by logging their names and comments.
For his wife's birthday one year, John had a painter paint a sentiment on the side of his shop facing hwy 101. Cars heading South are confronted with a large sign reading "DON'T FORGET THE MAGIC". When asked, John only replies, "It means don't forget the magic in your life, whatever it is." Thus leaving us to ponder, What is the magic? Perhaps a first love, a kiss, a touch of your child's hand, or the smell of just washed sheets, or blackberries on a summers day, the perfection of a wildflower in the Spring. Surely, such a thought will bring a smile and a small gift of magic to face the day.
For John and his wife, the "magic" is their secret. For the rest of us it is a gift from the poetic side of John.
On the other side of the hwy, as cars head North, travelers are startled to see a lone, stark, white toilet in a green meadow. Leaving us to ponder "?". Perhaps a gift from the whimsical side of John. He is a bit of a rogue, and a many faceted personality.
I have known John for about 32 years. He is an avid reader, a knowledgeable conversationalist, a gifted inventor, a loving husband, a proud Father, a doting Grandfather, and, a best friend.
Driving up the 101 in early June, 2005, my wife and I spotted this little doosie in a nice green field on the east side of the highway, just as we approached Laytonville. We had to stop and take some pictures. I dropped my drawers and sat down on the can while Michele snapped some photos. The pictures turned out great, and we decided to post the best one on the internet (here) for all to see. It wasn't long before Keoma found that page and contacted me about it. She explained the Magic behind the whole thing, and we exchanged emails for a while. Then, in early 2006, we decided to build this site as a training exercise at our business. Keoma and John were very excited about the idea, so we went ahead with it and the final product is now here for the world to see! We hope that as the word gets out to all the road warriors and tourists out there this site will grow and become the home of many entertaining photos and stories. Remember, Don't Forget The Magic!