My mother, Betty J. Herrmann, was born in a rustic log home on Edds Road in Garland County. She played basketball for Fountain Lake School and graduated valedictorian of the Class of 1954.
My father, Richard J. Herrmann also attended Fountain Lake School for most of his Primary and Secondary school years, and lived for a time on property his maternal grandfather Lem Lowery homesteaded here, but before graduation moved to California. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and returned to Garland County to marry Betty Edds. His Air Force service involved moves to Biloxi, Mississippi, San Bernardino, California (where I was born), El Paso, Texas, and Rein Mein AFB, Germany. As Avionic Shop NCOIC, his work included development input, installation, and aerial testing of top-secret Airborne Electronic Counter-Measures.
Following separation from the Air Force, he found employment with IBM in San Jose, California where I attended 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. We moved to Boca Raton, Florida where Dad worked as a Systems Engineer for the new IBM plant there; part of a team developing the revolutionary IBM System/7 computer. By the end of our 4 ½ year stay in southern Florida, my brothers and I were sometimes allowed to ride our bicycles to the beach where I learned to love snorkeling and playing in the ocean.
I met a girl named Melanie Brook Hagemeyer at Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music (later merged with Grand Rapids Baptist College which today is Cornerstone University), in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she graduated with a Christian Education major, and where I left after three semesters with a Private Pilot license through their Missionary Aviation program. Transferring to Letourneau College in Longview Texas, and then to Alabama Aviation & Technology College in Ozark, Alabama, “Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic” (A&P license) was added to my aviation credentials.
Melanie and I married on May 24, 1980. About 2 ½ years later, after careful consideration of what it meant to give my word, I decided that I could, in good faith, take the Oath of Enlistment, promising “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. I enlisted in the Air Force on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1982 (forty years to the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). Following basic training came assignment to the Strategic Air Command, Civil Engineering Squadron at Dyess AFB, TX, where I served during the transition of the B-1B Lancer replacing the B-52 Stratofortress at Dyess. After 4 years 10 months of regular active service, I transferred to the Air Force IMA (Individual Mobility Augmentee program) as an Instructor assigned to AETC (Air Education & Training Command), and retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Master Sergeant on August 5, 2004.
After separating from regular full-time active duty with the USAF in 1987, Melanie and I, blessed with two beautiful and delightful daughters, moved back to my roots in Garland County, Arkansas. Finding difficulty securing adequate work here, I took a course in auctioneering in Fort Smith, AR and also accomplished the qualifications for an Arkansas real estate license. Melanie joined me as a real estate agent and we both worked with SPA Realty owners Don & June Knabe (who we highly respected) at SPA Realty, which at that time was a Coldwell Banker franchise. After approximately two years as an agent I tested for my Arkansas Real Estate Broker’s license and opened “Herrmann Auction and Realty”, becoming more fully an entrepreneur. After several years I made a decision not to renew my Arkansas Auctioneers License and reduced my company name to “Herrmann Realty”. Herrmann Realty has been striving to provide excellent service assisting Buyers and Sellers with their real estate needs in Garland County since 1991.
Hearing a mention made that Dr. James Dobson had lived in Hot Springs for a portion of his childhood, I did research with the assistance of the Garland County Historical Society, and put together a package for consideration of Dr. Dobson to be inducted into the Hot Springs “Walk of Fame”. The application was approved and Herrmann Realty had the honor of sponsoring Dr. Dobson’s induction ceremony. He had been an almost daily part of our lives and our children’s lives for many years as we regularly had listened to the “Focus on the Family” radio broadcasts, as well as the dramatic children’s radio series “Adventures in Odyssey“. My mother and father were able to join my wife and me for an elegant dinner and conversation with Dr. Dobson hosted by Kenneth Wheatley and his wife in his Downtowner Hotel, and Mr. Wheatley and Dr. Dobson went on an excursion visiting the house Dr. Dobson had lived in for part of his childhood.
For 3 1/2 years I had what I consider to be one of the best jobs in the State of Arkansas; firefighter with the City of Hot Springs Fire Department (hired at the same time and starting work on the very same day as the current Hot Springs Fire Chief, Ed Davis). Resigning was a decision I sometimes have looked back on with some regret, but did so having no other managing broker with my real estate firm, and with the Arkansas Real Estate Commission requiring a full-time broker not otherwise employed in a non-real estate related field. I proposed that firefighting is a “real estate related” field, but the AREC did not agree.
A long time ago (years before attaining AARP eligibility), I ran unsuccessfully in two consecutive election cycles for Garland County Justice of the Peace – District 13. My father, Richard Herrmann, ran for the same office that I am now seeking to win, and I intend to honor his memory in the 2016 race for Garland County Judge.
- Hot Springs Board of Realtors
- Hot Springs Village Board of Realtors
- Hot Springs Village Chamber of Commerce
- Village Bible Church
- Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)
- Hot Springs Village TEA Party – Chairman
Likes, Interests, Hobbies & Involvements: cooking, hiking, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, snorkeling, bicycling, reading, writing, photography, videography, friendships with people from other countries and cultures, cruise ship travel, spending time and having little adventures with my five grandchildren.
For several years I served as official photographer for AFIO (Association of Former Intelligence Officers) at it’s annual National Intelligence Symposiums, and am founder & President of Declaration Celebration, Inc., an Arkansas non-profit corporation, as well as webmaster and reporter (photography, videography, and writer) for it’s “God & Country” themed website www.July4.org.
After losing the 2014 Garland County Judge race in 2014, I decided to do what I could to maximize transparency & accountability of Garland County government … and respect for property rights, anyway. In January of 2015 I launched www.garlandcounty.info. That website has become the premiere information source for all things Garland County, despite the efforts of the incumbent county judge to shut it down. You can read about his outrageous attempt here: http://garlandcounty.info/mohammad-and-the-county-judge/.