Born into a party the Great Gatsby would have been proud of Johnny grew up in Ladue St. Louis, Missouri where old-money wealth and privilege defined Johnny’s childhood. From the moment of his birth, Johnny’s world was private clubs, private school, private planes, high-society etiquette and a loving nanny named, Lizzy.
Due to the disease of alcoholism Johnny’s mother was taken away from him at an early age and at age nine his parents divorced and his mother was sent away for rehabilitation for five years. Upon her return an ugly custody battle ensued and eventually Johnny was separated from his brother and sister. Life went on and he eventually graduated high school and college. During this time frame Johnny’s own alcoholism started and progressed rapidly.
He married and had two children but the disease proved to be to powerful and he bounced off the bottom for a while and then he fell in, always looking to fill that God shaped hole. Divorced, struggling and at a low bottom Johnny sought treatment on the suggestion of a friend. That was January 5, 1999.
The burning bush happened six weeks into recovery when Johnny was asked to write a letter to his mother and the compulsion and desire left him completely. He thrived in recovery and once he met Adrianne that God shaped hole was filled. He sold his business and moved to south Florida with Adrianne and their Yorkie, Holly. Currently he sponsors, speaks, helps others in recovery and is promoting their book, The Painting and The Piano, because he strongly believes it will help others. Eventually he would like to open a women’s recovery home with Adrianne.
Adrianne was born addicted to heroin and spent days at Bellevue hospital in New York City in an incubator and then was placed in foster care where a loving family, the Cahn’s, provided a home for her at age 10 months. The Cahn’s were a typical middle class family and Aidy Maidy, Adrianne’s nickname, was the apple of her father’s eye. They resided in Wantagh, Long Island and it was a picture perfect upbringing until Adrianne turned five, which was her first introduction to her biological parents.
Elaine and Herb, Adrianne’s biological mother and father, petitioned the court to have Adrianne returned to them. Their demands to visit Adrianne and establish a relationship with her shatters the peace and security of her home and sends Adrianne careening down a nightmarish path. The court battle raged on for one year, covered by the local and national media, and eventually Adrianne was court ordered to be turned over to her biological parents at age 10 even though it was very obvious drugs and alcohol ruled their lives.
The next five years were a living nightmare with physical and verbal abuse and finally ending with the death of Adrianne’s biological mother from a lifetime of drug use. Adrianne returned to live with the Cahn’s through high school.
After putting herself through college Adrianne married a doctor, had three children, moved to St. Louis, Missouri and then her life spiraled out of control. She didn’t realize that she married her biological mother and this started her on a path of drug use, primarily opiates. With nowhere left to turn she went into rehabilitation so she could clear her head and figure out what to do with her life. Her sobriety date is July 11, 2005.
After ninety days of inpatient treatment she returned to St. Louis and started attending AA meetings where she met Johnny. She filed for divorce, went through a bankruptcy and finally separated from her husband while maintaining custody of her three children. With the help of her sober friends and Johnny she started on her incredible journey into a life with endless possibilities. Eventually Adrianne moved in with Johnny and her three children and thus begins this amazing love story. Once all the children left for college and Johnny sold his business they moved to southern Florida where they decided to write the book all their counselors, friends, and family had suggested they write, The Painting and The Piano.