J.O. HERMAN, The Centennial Begins

JULY 20, 1920 – John Oliver Herman was born at 60 Soley Street, Charlestown, MA, “in the shadow of the Bunker Hill Monument.”  His sister Amy, age two, was no doubt delighted to have her new baby brother, but then again, she might have been a wee bit, how to say it…jealous?     We’ll never know for sure, but in later years they talked and laughed great deal, telling stories about each other with wide, innocent (NOT) blue eyes aimed to convince you they were telling only the truth.     John even stole one of the ebony elephants with the ivory tusks from Amy’s collection she displayed in her “jungle room.”  Some one of us kids has it still, I’m sure.  I’m also sure the two of them became very adept at torturing their five younger brothers and sisters: Natalie, Dickie, Martha, Pat, and Bill.    Here’s to the fun they had.   Does ANYONE have that record of John and Dick singing “Baby Face?”  I so remember them laughing through it, hollering at one point, “Close the door, Natalie!”  Who doesn’t remember John singing “The Old Sow Song” while pumping away at that old organ in Grandma’s house in Amesbury – altogether now, Snort – Whistle – Toot…

TODAY, JULY 20, 2019, we celebrate the beginning of John Oliver Herman’s Centennial Year, which will culminate, no doubt, with great ado July 20, 2020, a triple magic number day in the universe.   Over the coming months, I, John’s oldest daughter, shall endeavor to discover and relay hilarious people, tales and events of the years between 1920 and 2020 that John may have experienced and/or caused, and that legend has embellished.  This journey may take us to the likes of Les Paul, Jose Jimenez, Wizard of Oz, Vincent Price, Slim Pickin’s (Uncle Don), Nose Pickin’s (Uncle Jack), Gwennie, the AHH Monster, instructions about how to take out your eyeballs to clean them, and/or how to keep your fists up in front of your face while boxing.   We may visit Mississippi, Louisiana, California, New Mexico, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Japan.  We shall see.  If anyone remembers fun and/or funny things about J O Herman, his family, friends, adventures,  do tell… I have come to realize how little kids can know about their parents as people, so will be looking to fill in the blanks…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POP, WHEREVER YOU ARELook down with that one crossed eye in the sky,  and stir up the FUN in living during the last century.  Lord knows we have done our share of crying…let’s get to the laughing parts, eh?

Roxie Rooney…


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