REMEMBERING HERB NEAL

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For as long as I have lived in town, I have known Mr. Herbert W. Neal. I first met him when our Township’s Parks and Recreation director, Gary Forbes, was putting together a team of athletic men in town to compete against other towns in a Superstars competition of various track and field events.

I also competed against Herb and his Sunday morning softball team, the Knights of Columbus. We rode the bus together to New York City for many years. Herb worked for Chock Full o'Nuts as a media buyer along with Jackie Robinson. We loved to talk about sports - he was an avid Boston Red Sox fan, long before Red Sox nation began. We both had stories to tell each other about our tryouts with major league baseball teams when there were only 16 teams.

As a tennis player Herb was a very good athlete and taught himself to be a good tennis player. He was a quick learner and he improved his game from year to year. He had a terrific sense of humor and was a good sport. I remember his first time up at Shifting Sands he got drenched with a bucket of water in a suit and tie when a group picture was taken on the downstairs front porch. This always was the way the Club welcomed new active members at Shifting Sands.

Herb was a champion of education, the younger generation and community service. A few years ago Herb was selected as Person of the Year in Pequannock Township. Herb served as a Board of Education member, a council member and Mayor for a number of years. He was a also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion. Herb was one of the scholarly members of the Club having attended Harvard and had a very diversified career.

In recent years after he stopped playing tennis, I used to visit him at home and discuss issues of the day. Whatever topic was raised Herb was always an engaging conversationalist.I will always remember his infectious unmistakable laugh. One could not meet a finer gentleman and he was a very classy person. I will miss him a whole lot.

Bob Reich—-June 2017