Ich Dachte, Dass Ich in die Schwarzwald Waere

Von Rodger M. Wood



Im Juni, fuhren meine Frau Joanne und ich nach Helen, Georgia, wer alle ist so Deutsch. Wir wanderten in die Berge, aBen Deutsch Essen und trinken deutsche Bier, sprachen Deutsch mit vielen Leute, und swamen in die Chatahoochee FluBe. Sein im Helen war, wie im Schwarzwald sein. Nestled by the Chattahoochee River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Northwest Georgia, with its old world towers, the Alpine village of Helen resembled, ein Dorf im FuBe von Schwarzwald.” I believe you can close your eyes there and easily believe you are in Oensbach, the birth village of our third great grandfather Fidel Herr. I ate sauberbraten, and drank liters of good German wheat beer the four days I was there. I ordered my food and talked to the proprietors in German at the Hofbrau Haus, and Bavarian Inn. Joanne and I hiked the nearby Smith Creek Trail in Unicoi State Park, viewed Anna Ruby Falls and stuck our toes in the refreshing waters of the Chattahoochee River as we watched the many tubers cascade down the rain swollen river. On the way to Helen, we stopped at Zebulon, NC to take some photographs at a AA- Southern League Mississippi Braves/Carolina Mud Cats ball game. Prior to the game, Carolina RHP Matt Klinker talked and posed with the young Fayettesville Police Boys Club players. We took a day trip to photograph the festivities at the SALLY League All Star game in Greenville, S.C.. With its 30-foot high Green Monster in left field, Pesky Pole in right field, same dimensions all around the outfield, and manual scoreboard, Greenville Fluor Field is a close replica of Boston Fenway Park. On the way there, we stopped at the Clemson University campus, which housed the manorial home of mid -19th century southern statesman, John Calhoun, and an awesome football stadium, which opponents compare to “death valley ” when playing there. As usual, I bought a Clemson baseball cap and football jersey at the school book store to show off to my sons at family gatherings. From Helen, we drove 90 miles southwest to Stone Mountain, GA , where we rode a railroad around the park, cruised on an amphibious “duck” around a lake, toured the Dudley Plantation House and viewed a spectacular laser show shown on the granite memorial to Confederate heroes, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson majestically hovering high above us. On the way home, we stopped in Myrtle Beach, S.C. to see our old friend “Wild Bill” Mathews, who lost his dear wife Dee in November, 2009. While there, we ate a great sea food dinner at a Calabash, N.C. and the next night, a chicken dinner, while entertained by a lively Dixie Stampede at Dolly Parton’s show place. Just past Richmond, VA, we stopped at Guinea Station to tour the Fairfield Plantation house where General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died May 10, 1863, concluding a nice sojourn into our German American heritage while earning some money with my sports photography.


Our Cousin Won HR Derby!

By Rodger M. Wood


While on assignment at the Eastern League All Star Game in Harrisburg, PA last week, I was surprised to read on the video screen the high school hitter at the plate in the HR Derby was “Kolbe Herr.”

Knowing he was representing Lower Dauphin HS in Hummelstown, PA, which is nearby Lancaster,
home site of the Mennonite elder, Hans Herr, who migrated to the new world about 1719,
I sought him out to congratulate for winning the HR derby as well as find out more about his Herr ancestry.


Kolbe knew his extended Herr family was large at family gatherings, but typical of an 18 – year ball player, not too much about his roots, or Hans Herr’s homestead was still standing in Lancaster or if he was related to Lancaster, PA , St Louis Cardinals 2B of the 1980s, Tommy Herr. Understandably, he was at an age when those things were not too important.

Not wanting to spoil the joy of his triumph that day, I dropped the genealogy to tell him I was also a photographer for Baseball America who would be forwarding his photos on to that magazine for publication consideration.


Kolbe will be entering junior college in September, and is a fine clean cut young man, who will well represent the Pennsylvania Herr Family now and down the road.