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A poetic tribute to Herb Benham’s lengthy career

Herb Benham poem

Among his adventures that reader Laurie Green detailed in her poem about columnist Herb Benham was his trip to a Santa Barbara wedding for which he failed to pack dress pants.

News of Herb Benham's retirement as full-time columnist generated a strong reaction among readers. Among the messages, reader Laurie Green not only wrote him a note but also penned a poem in his honor, recalling his past adventures and reminding everyone that he will still have a weekly column starting in February.

•••

Dear Herb,

I was sad to read about your retirement, though you are certainly deserving after 30 faithful years of columns. I have emailed you at times with my comments about ones in particular — sometimes praising and sometimes even criticizing — and I have appreciated both your humor and humility. I wrote this ode this morning right after reading today's column. Hope you like it. 

Best wishes on your retirement, Herb. I hope at least one of the fig tree plants I gave you has survived!

Laurie Green

‘Ode to Herb Benham’

The sad news came on a Sunday morn;

We read it and our hearts were torn.

His 30 years of columns ending,

And the humor on which we’ve been depending.

But wait! His fans don’t need to freak,

’Cause he’ll still be writing once a week!

We’ll hope that he still has more to share

Even in retirement he’ll still be there.

His life has been bared for all to see,

And we grew to love his family;

We watched them grow through all the years;

We shared his laughter and his tears.

We learned all about his tennis game,

(And when he lost, the things he’d blame!)

His walking, swimming, and staying fit,

And sports he tried for the heck of it.

We know his favorite brands of clothes,

His fashion sense ... and pantless woes.

The stories were funny but just the same,

The one about a belt was pretty lame!

He shared his love for food and drink;

His culinary skills don’t stink.

The restaurants he recommends

Appreciate the business he sends.

He went on trips and took us along;

He’d share with us a favorite song.

He wrote about people and even more

About his kids, whom he’ll always adore.

A rosy picture I’ve tried to paint

Though Sue, his wife, must be a saint!

Just teasing, though you know it’s true;

Happy Retirement, Herb, we love you!