A little bird told me that some of the Herberts have taken to Twitter.
Our Twitter feeds may be a bit specialized, but they offer windows into another aspect of our lives and work. If you would like to share your own Twitter handle, blog or other form of digital expression, please share!
Katherine Hawkins is an active tweeter. Her tweets often relate to her work around Guantanamo Bay inmates and the Middle East. Her Twitter handle is
Nora Cody has a blog called ididn’tasktobeborn where she has shared some parenting advice.
I have an active blog at Education Week, called Living in Dialogue
My blog focuses on education policy, as do my tweets. You can follow me on Twitter at @anthonycody
Also, here is a bit of Herbert trivia. You may recall that Hugh shared his discovery he made a few years back that our ancestor’s name was actually Halbert, not Herbert. You might be interested to know that a “halbert” is another name for a halberd, which Wikipedia describes as:A halberd (also called halbard, halbert or Swiss voulge) is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. The word halberd may come from the German words Halm (staff), and Barte (axe). In modern-day German, the weapon is called a Hellebarde. The halberd consists of an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft. It always has a hook or thorn on the back side of the axe blade for grappling mounted combatants.
So perhaps the Herbert family crest should be adapted to incorporate this ancient weapon.
Ed and Susan’s daughter Rebecca, with her quilt made by Pat Cody about 14 years ago…
by Hugh Herbert
In 1936, we moved from our beloved Oxford, MA to Central Village, CT. We all hated it! It was a mill town with a large number of poor wood framed tenements, provided by the mills for their workers. A good number of these workers were of French Canadian origin and education was not a big factor for them.
Our grammar school was only a few hundred feet up the street from our house.
On the first day of school, Paul and I arrived together. At the time he was 11 yrs. old and I was nine. We were standing around the school yard when we noticed a commotion. An oversized bully (he had been kept back one or two years) would walk up to a smaller boy, shoving him to the ground. The kid would simper and say “hiya Leo.” And then Leo proceeded along the line, pushing more kids down. I turned to Paul and said we’re not going to take that are we? Paul said no. Then Leo walks up to Paul and says, “Huh, you’re a new kid!” As it looked as if he were going to shove Paul, I dropped to my hands and knees behind Leo and Paul gave a real hard shove. He backed up and fell over me hitting the back of his head a real whack on the ground.
Paul then said, “Yeah we’re new kids and no one is going to push us around!”
Once over their surprise, the other kids began laughing at and jeering Leo. Leo got up and as far as I knew, never did any more shoving. And for a while, Paul was somewhat of a hero.
Thus far the New Herbert Herald has, appropriately, focused on tributes to the recently departed, and reminiscences of the family from the days of yore. But the Herbert family is not all in the misty memory. We are alive and well in the 21st Century as well! Please send in your latest news of what is happening now! Let us know if you, like cousin Katherine Hawkins, are on Twitter and can be followed there. Or if you have a blog of your own. Or if a new baby is amongst us. Or you are engaged to be married! Or if your divorce is done! Any news is news to us.
Matt Menz created a special collection of all the Herbert Herald editions from the 1980s and 90s, up through 2010. In this book you will find family news, births, weddings, and reminiscences of times gone by. There is even the transcription of great great grandfather Jacob Shandorf’s handwritten diary, from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the Vatican in the 1880s.
You can get your very own copy here: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/992417/6ac4aba3de9d38ef21c9b50c356085ec
Thank you, Matt!
Though I only knew Pat and Paul for a short amount of time, the impact they’ve had on my life has been profound. Finding the Herbert family – who for so long had been a mysterious part of Gerry, Amy and my family tree – has been amazing.
Meeting Pat and Paul in January 2010 for the first time, along with other members of the family, was a homecoming for us. Pat’s reaction to our first contact was an unexpected delight: like we already belonged to the Herbert family. She quickly planned a first gathering that not only drew the Berkeley posse but others much further away, including Uncle Paul. That day is one of my richest family memories and will never fade.
In a strange coincidence, Matt and I moved from London to the Bay Area just before our first meeting. Or maybe there is a bigger story at play than we are really aware of! When we moved we were lucky enough to have Gerry, just down the road (met only 10 years earlier), but knew very few other people. And suddenly… we had a family.
We’ve since spent happy Thanksgivings together, attended weddings, and been included in parties and backyard picnics. One of the most amazing things about meeting this family is how much of an affinity we’ve always felt. Trading New York Times articles with Pat via email and meeting for lunch and talking about politics are among my favorite memories.
Being able to meet Pat and Paul while they were still with us was incredible. Their warm embrace, pulling us into your family, has been a gift. I knew them only a short time but miss them and am forever grateful.
Between the ages of about eleven and fourteen, I made annual trips down to Yorba Linda, in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, to visit my cousins, the Herberts. Several times I rode the Greyhound bus down there by myself, and remember the dusty heat of Bakersfield, the redolent smell of the cows in Coalinga, and the hours and hours riding down Highway 5 in the summer sun.
Uncle Paul and Aunt Faith lived in what I thought was the most exotic of places, this Shangri-La with grass and swimming pools everywhere. The best part was that Disneyland was perhaps a dozen miles away. My cousin John was a year or two older than me, and he would take the lead on our forays to Disneyland. I recall one summer evening, sitting by the rocketship rides, listening to a rock band called El Chicano. I was very impressed at him for talking to this girl, I think her name was Vera Viss, or Vicki Voss, or something exotic like that. He said she was “a bitchin-ass chick.” I do not think the relationship developed much farther, though.
We had some fun at the family reunions as well, John and I. I am not sure what year it was — maybe I was 14 years old. A bunch of the girls were sleeping in Martha’s room, on the second floor of the house on Fulton Street. There was a sort of trellis structure next to her bedroom. Early in the afternoon, when everyone was outside or elsewhere, John and I climbed up on the trellis and reached in the window. We tied a string to the pull down shade, and dangled it out the window. Then we waited. After dinner, after dark, we waited outside, our ears cocked to hear what was happening within that boudoir. When we thought the time was ripe we seized that string and began yanking on it, causing the shade to shake and rattle and rise up. The screams that came from within that room were strangely satisfying.