The Way We Were

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the September 15, 2010 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Herman answers call at Larrimac

by Louise Schwartz

Herman first appeared in Chelsea during the summer of 1950. For a while he resided with Aileen and Hal Bleakney, avid golfers whose cottage bordered on the Larrimac Golf Club.

We'll never know why he chose their particular home for his domicile, or how the Bleakneys discovered his name. Over time, they blamed Herman for a variety of offences, including spilt water, broken dishes, burnt food and tracked-in-dirt. Finally, at their wit's end, the Bleakneys reportedly escorted him to the nearby woods and deliberately dumped him.

The Way We Were
Herman's residence since 1984. Photo courtesy Allan Richens.

Since then, Herman has lived at the edge of the woods, on the south side of the seventh fairway at Larrimac. Rarely seen, if at all, and never heard, Herman patiently bides his time. If an erratic golfer cuffs his ball into the woods, he is instructed to shout, "Herman!" If Herman is on the job that day, he will toss the mishit golf ball back out onto the fairway.

In 1984, club members decided to recognize Herman's ongoing efforts. As part of Larrimac's 60th anniversary celebration, longtime member John Chown designed and built a permanent abode for Herman.

Standing about two feet tall, it has been described as hut-like with a mushroom cap-shaped red roof. A few entrance steps lead to a curved front door, painted a cheery yellow to welcome visitors. A side window allows Herman to enjoy the woodland view. Since Herman is somewhat reclusive, it's believed no one has seen the interior.

Herman receives no remuneration for his efforts. This summer, however, in appreciation of his services, Earl Bochert, the Greens Superintendent at Larrimac, meticulously cleaned the exterior of Herman's house. Given his undetermined age, the golf club and its members hope Herman will be able to carry on for many more years to come.

Editor's note: Those duffers interested in their own Herman sighting should contact the Larrimac Golf Club at 819-827-1506 to book a round of golf on this unique course, which is open to the public.

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