For a couple of weeks now I have been struggling to find words to do justice to the life of Professor John Herod, who left us last month. Finally came to the conclusion that words are inadequate for this, so I’ll just do the best I can.
Mr. John was one of the first men I met when I came to the Valley almost 60 years ago. Ed and I were dating and Ed was summoned for a picture at Davidson High School—I tagged along. Came away thinking that is one of the dearest men I’ve ever met. His wonderful smile, soft voice and uplifting/ encouraging attitude were all wonderful. Throughout our years of association he’s remained the same person I met that day in 1957. Always enjoyed our visits at school, in our office, or anywhere else our paths crossed. He loved children, his own, and everyone elses. Our child loved and respected him, as I’m sure did all of yours. He was an excellent educator, both as a teacher and administrator. When we talked he always asked about Jim and, of course, we wanted to know all about the Herod children and grands. They were all brilliant and talented and have always represented the Valley well.
Mr. John also was a great asset in the political and civic realm of Water Valley, serving as a supervisor and in other capacities. He was also a strong religious leader, for many years as member of Everdale Church, where he served in so many departments. His children followed in his footprints, with Barbara serving as pianist for the church, sons with their wonderful voices, singing as long as they resided in the Valley, not only in the church, but also in all entertainment productions, and these were numerous.
Know how wonderful he was in so many serious venues, but one of my fondest memories was of his hot rolls—can taste them now. Over the years, he would pop in the office with a dozen and state they are still warm, I just took them out of the oven. With butter, I’d eat several—that’s where some of this weight I carry around came from.
We traveled to ballgames in a caravan for many, many years, hosted picnics for the band, attended every school event and many of the civic affairs, together and it was always great to be in the Herod family’s company.
My sympathy, and Jim sends his, is extended to the entire Herod family—we’ll certainly miss him, also.
Many of the Water Valley High School Class of 1956, along other family and friends, may not have heard of the death of a classmate, Charles Goode. Charles was a dear person and I’ve enjoyed getting letters from him through the years. Never knew him personally, although I did meet him in my early Valley days. Just felt like we knew each other from our correspondences. He was a great letter writer, mine were not that good, but he did keep up with me through the column. Will miss him, and extend sympathy to his family and friends.
Had a note from Doni and Jerry Burt, and will share some highlights. Know friends and country club patrons will enjoy hearing from them. They say the move to California was a hectic one. They report having snow since December 15 and and then the rains came, which helped but then the roads were icy.
“Lately we’ve had so much rain there were floods in the town of Portola, only 15 miles southeast of us. Behind the place we rented there is a river approximately 200 feet from us and when we take the dogs out you can hear the mighty roar. Jerry wanted to get out of the snow for awhile so we went down to Bakersfield, which is where we use to live, and also where our daughter lives. We had to get down the mountain on Highway 70 instead of I-80, which was closed due to mudslides and icy conditions. While we were gone my sister, who lives in Coraeagle, sent a picture of our driveway, which had a four-foot snow berm. They hired someone to plow it, so when we got back we could get into the house. It has been an unexpected winter here. The locals say they haven’t had this much snow and rain since 1997—I guess we brought it with us when we left Colorado, where we visited my sister, Edie.
I’ve been talking to Marie and she says y’all have had nice weather and that we should come back home. Would like to—we miss all of you. Doni”
Enjoyed hearing from you and do hope your weather gets better. The Valley has enjoyed an unusually warm winter.
Most of us are moaning and growing about the fact that when spring actually arrives we’ll have no flowers. If what I’m seeing on my weekly commute is true across the area I’m sure this is correct. The Pope/Water Valley and Eureka roads must have more flowers, flowering shrubs and trees per mile than anywhere. It looks like a flower garden all along both roads.
When the wisteria blooms, and judging from the catkins on mine it will not be long if this warm weaner continues, we’re going to see what looks like the hanging gardens of Babylon. I think wisteria in full bloom creates the prettiest picture in the country.
Drove slowly over to the nursing home in Batesville Thursday—no traffic and the drive was just so pretty—I was a little late arriving. Our sitter, Dorothy, said it was fine, even though she did have an errand to attend to. Mom was in good spirits and her cough was almost gone. We had a very enjoyable visit. She was very alert, could see much better than usual. We talked, she counted the birds, and admired my colorful shirt. She can see bright colors, especially in the early morning sunlight. She also ate well all weekend and seemed to enjoy the food. I do enjoy her good days. Thanks to all of you who keep a check on her each week.
Report was that the ladies of Woodland Hills enjoyed their craft outing, along with a tasty finger food fellowship. Tasted some of the finger foods and they were delicious. Sorry I missed it.
Don’t forget to spring forward Sunday night (move the clock up one hour before you go to bed)—we’re already to Day Light Savings Time. Can you believe it?