In Memoriam: My Dad


When someone becomes a child of God the Bible speaks of them as being adopted as sons. Unbeknownst to both of us at the time, 46 years ago, James M Herr showed me a picture of God when he chose me to be his son. Most do not know that he was not my real Dad. I always knew that was the case, but I never thought of him that way. I never once thought of him as my stepdad. As far as I was and am concerned, this man IS my Dad.


When I was 12ish we went to a Seahawks game. They were giving free hats out on the way in. Dad gets the “Adult” hat. I get the “Kid” hat. Of course, right? We ended up trading hats cause mine was too small and his was too big…

In the early 80’s my grandpa was running for a city council position. After the election is over, as the sun is going down, Dad and I go around taking the campaign signs down. At the time there was a tire shop called Scotty’s on Grove and State. While we were there taking the sign down the cops show up and start interrogating us…they want to see ID from Dad…AND the 12 year old! Dad thought that was hilarious.

We lived across the street from Jennings Park in Marysville. One night something was going on at the park and Dad decided to walk over there, in the dark, to investigate. I’m upstairs in my room listening to the police scanner and I hear “there’s a dark figure approaching”. Yep, he was the dark figure.

Classic Dad right there.


My Dad wasn’t a verbal kind of teacher but he gave me so much, mostly by what I saw, by what I watched him do. He showed me how to use tools, read calipers, micrometers and so forth. He taught me how to think outside the box.

A few things I love that I caught from my Dad … I love a corny joke, a good story, history, music, tools, old cars, anything mechanical, math and numbers (I know, weird…whatever) I love Coca-Cola and finally, heroin (uh relax, that’s what he called Cheez-It crackers because they are ohhh sooo addictive.) and the list goes on…

I didn’t realize fully, until now, the extent to which Dad loved his people so very much and how very much I loved him.


So who was James M Herr? A veteran (101st Airborne), a logger, a machinist, a toolmaker, a builder, a joker, a talker, a collector, a writer and so much more. He was all these things but above them all, to me, he was Dad. I am honored and humbled, to put it in a Biblical sort of way, to be called Terry, son of James.

I love you Daddy. Turns out you’re my hero after all.


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