:Norman HerbelPosted: August 11, 2008
This morning I got out of bed, anxious to share about the unbelievable, incredible, totally awesome race last night. The men’s 4 x 100 (pronounced four by one hundred) freestyle relay. I wanted to write about the media, the pressure they’re putting on Micheal Phelps, how almost every photo spotlights him, not the man with the most incredible leg of that relay. Jason Lezak swam the fastest 100 in a relay ever recorded. I wanted to tell you how exciting it is to witness world records being broke, to see swimmers of this caliber. And If I had time, I was going to finish the :Jason’s Hands on Dorje entry.
Instead, I’m writing my memorial to Norman Herbel. The sad news was waiting in my inbox. I don’t know the details; they don’t matter. Norman is gone. Norman and his wife Carolyn penned The Complete Lhasa Apso and the later version The New Complete Lhasa Apso. Both of those books share a prominent place in my library. Several years ago Vickie suggested we take our books along to a dog show where both Norman and Carolyn were judging and have them autographed. Inside the first book, he simply signed under something Carolyn wrote, “TO DEBBY THE PURPLE MARBLES CAME TO THE TOP.” Inside the later he wrote, “To A Great Breeder” right above Carolyn’s “To DEBBY WHO FOUND ALL THE PURPLE MARBLES.”
Years ago, similar to Vickie’s suggestion, Sondra suggested I load up my breeding program dogs into the RV Mary and I traveled in, and share what I was doing with the Herbels. Mary, Sondra and I were traveling east to some dog show somewhere. The Herbels would be there. I was so nervous! Who was I to think they’d be interested?! It may be hard to believe, but I’m actually an introvert, not very comfortable in some social situations. There was interest. Carolyn took vidoe of my foundation bitch, Jelly Bean, moving. A still photo of Jelly Bean moving was placed in the later version of The Complete Lhasa Apso. Norman gave a movement seminar a year or five later, requested use of that photo, along with the footage Carolyn took. A pen and ink drawing of Jelly moving was used for the cover of the handout.
Over the years, my respect for both of them blossomed and grew. I’ve shared hours upon hours with Carolyn, talking about the breed and even a few other things in life. Both Norman and Carolyn had such high praise for C’est La Vie; one of the best Lhasa Apsos ever. Or so they said. Four or five years ago, in Seward, Norman placed C’est La Vie Group 1. Standing there, during photographs, Carolyn realized this was her ‘Applewood Valley bitch’. She complimented Normal on being able to find a great Lhasa too! I was so proud to be able to tell her that C’est La Vie was 5th generation tail female from Jelly Bean. “And it shows!” she replied. Further down the road in C’est La Vie’s career, Julie presented me with the Group One ribbon Carolyn had awarded C’est La Vie. That rosette remains on my mantle.
The memory of Norman that will stand out among the others is him sitting inside his ring during the judges’ lunch hour. He was sitting alone. I can visualize that as if it were happening right now. Later I found out he ate lunch and returned to his ring because of negative talk during the judges’ lunch. He simply wasn’t going to participate, even as a listener. I think that’s real class!
Here’s a couple of photos of Norman…obviously taken years apart. Meaning my appearance, not his!