A secure career

Johnnie King has worked for TSA and now the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Johnnie King has spent much of his career working in security. He celebrates his 70th birthday Feb. 6. (Photo Courtesy of National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum)

From Staff Reports

Johnnie King has had a pretty secure career.

He is even working in retirement years part-time, doing what he has done for decades, keeping a watchful eye on crowds and providing security for the public.

King grew up in Yukon and graduated from the Yukon High School class of 1969 and played football as a linebacker and a running back. In those days, he loaded 75-pound sacks of flour at Yukon’s Best Flour Mill at a dock on the train tracks, loading box cars until they were full for about $1.35 an hour. The pay was better than convenience stores were paying at the time. In the summers, he grew up hauling hay making about $20 a day.

He served in the U.S. Army, drafted Feb. 1, 1971 and serving until 1973 with the 1st Armored Division 3/35th in Bamberg, Germany as a tank commander.

After years in construction, he went to work for Transportation Security Administration in September 2002 in the first group when it was started.

The agency was formed in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.

King had been a construction worker when he applied for the job at TSA. King said he wanted to get out of construction for health reasons. He then trained to be a transportation security officer inspecting baggage and cargo. He also worked a checkpoint for passengers who came through. He retired from TSA in 2016.

His TSA experience has helped land him his current job, working security and crowd control at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum part-time and for events. He was laid off in March due to COVID-19 but brought back in May.


King will celebrate his 70th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 6.

King has also been an umpire for softball, even has had a short stint as a solo rapper, with his original song, “Big Bad John From Yukon.”

King helped provide security on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City during the Oklahoma City-County Health department’s vaccine clinic for those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There were 1,200 people who were vaccinated, King said.

King is well-known in the Yukon area.

He also known for some longstanding jokes and one he said he used to tell his children, four daughters and a son, that a picture of his arm was on the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda box.

“I always kid them about how I won the Arm & Hammer Pose off? They finally grow up and realize that is not my arm,” King said.

Once when his kids were in high school, he said his rap music was better than The Beastie Boys.”

He has his own rap he sings.

“My name’s Big Bad John and I come from Yukon. Where I come from I do as I please. I run over fences and I knock down trees. Now I ain’t sayin’ that I am bad, but my friends all like me and my kids call me dad,” King said.