Herb McLure

Profile Updated: November 2, 2021
Residing In: Birmingham, AL USA
Spouse/Partner: Jane Rosio McLure
Children: Kelly Kuykendall, born 1965, Hannah Kuykendall, born 1997, Zoe Kuykendall, born 2000.
Molly Wasko, More…born 1967, Savannah Wasko, born 2003, Sam Wasko, born 2004.
School Story:

Jane invited me to the GAA dance in December 1960. I skipped a basketball game to go with her and got kicked off the team as a result, ruining my chances to play in the NBA. We have been married for 48 years. Pete says I should also point out I was kicked off the baseball team. That was for going on a chorus trip, something I have never regretted. Lots of girls, long bus rides, overnight stay at Grand Canyon compared to a baseball game? I was unhinged in general my senior year but survived it. Learned to play guitar so Dan Clark, George Gabbard, Alan Smith, Hartley Smith and I could have a "Kingston Trio" type group. Still play the guitar and sing but only for myself--unless, of course, the survivng members want to reform the group.

Having read the entries of others now, and reflecting on my memories of high school and growing up in Tempe, I am struck by how much the people and place influenced how I have lived my life. We were sheltered by a safe environment but still had the freedom to try to be unusual. Of course, that usually meant being unusual just like everybody else. Even now that I am aware of their limitations and youth (I thought they were old at the time) I admire my teachers for trying to be my ally while I tried to fit in. For example, Mr. Grim spent a morning with me trying to get me not to blow off his physics class. I was rude and rejected his advice, but have always appreciated that he bothered with me at all. On the other hand, I have never forgiven the baseball coaches for not figuring out I was standing too close to the plate to hit the ball with the fat part of my bat. I think about things I learned from and about my best friends (Ric Curry, Pete Wood, Geoff Brown, Eldon Smith, Dan Clark, Paul Turner, Jim Carraway, George Gabbard, John Glover) almost every day, and am still in touch with all but the dead ones, and am still learning from them.

There were a few times some combination of us could have gotten in real trouble or have been killed. Those incidents are bright in my memory, and mostly involve cars. The time I had to squeeze between a stopped car and a ditch at high speed on Rural Road and George said "Glad you didn't panic", and the time I was facing an oncoming car in the wrong lane and Ric said "You're screwed." It wasn't just me who would have been screwed, but we wriggled out of it.

What have you been doing since Since you Retired?

I can no longer find the stuff I wrote originally so I'm adding a few things while I can still remember. I worked for the US General Accounting Office for 25 years (now it's called the Government Accountability Office) and the Federal Aviation Administration for 7 and a half years before I retired in 1995. After retiring I did contract work for big organizations and some governments. I did things like trying to figure out how many administrative people and offices the Bureau of Indian Affairs needed, how much money the Smithsonian needed to bring its buildings up to standard, how the newly formed government of the Republic of Georgia could create a civil service system, and numerous attempts to help organizations take better advantage of diversity in their workforces. Jane and I also traveled a lot to places we were interested in.

How many careers have you had in your adult life? Did you have a favorite or most rewarding?

I loved working at GAO. It was like family to me and we did important work that had clear benefits. For example, some of my work contributed to deregulating the airlines so they could serve the public at greatly reduced prices (and, some would argue, service). The work at FAA was much more difficult and the benefits were harder to see, but I felt good about what I achieved there.

What career did you always want to try but never did?

I wanted to be a professional athlete. My sister married a Los Angeles Dodger and after I saw what that life entails up close, I have never regretted being too small, too slow, and too lazy to have made it.

What are you most nostalgic about from your Tempe High School years?

Compared to kids now, we were free to explore, and our parents weren't afraid to let us out of their sight. My parents let me ride my bike everywhere and I walked home from school starting in first grade. They rarely took me anywhere in a car unless they were going there too. Now parents wait at the school bus stop so their children won't be kidnapped (crime involving children is a fraction what it was in the 1950's) or they drop them off and pick them up--there is a line of hundreds of cars idling with A/C's running every day at the elementary school, burning gas and polluting the air. All kid sports are organized by grownups now, and kids have to start specializing when they are 10 or 11. No one can play multiple sports anymore, and there's no such thing as kids just getting together to play on a dirt field the way we did. Kids can't ride their bikes to the pool for swim practice and stop at the public library on the way home and read all afternoon--there's too much traffic and the media has us afraid of miniscule dangers. I'm nostalgic for that time when I could walk up the street after school and find Jackie Pritchard and Tommy Turner, Bobby Rollins and Gene Carter, and play football or marbles in the dust or workup in the field beside Jackie's house, or shoot BB's at the garage door at Gene's. We tied a sock to the street sign on the corner of Spence and Rural and played tether ball with it while we waited for the bus in the mornings. We climbed the tamarack treees and the cottonwoods and no one told us to be careful, and we laid out at night in the grass and watched the stars. My grandchildren play Wii and are never unwatched. They'll be fine, but my feral childhood was better.

Favorite Music, Then and Now?

I liked my dad's music and I liked rock and roll. I still like both. I liked folk music after the Kingston Trio came along and I still sing and play those same songs.I learned to play guitar by listening to Joan Baez records and she has become better as we've grown older. Bob Dylan then and now. I loved the Beatles after I saw their first movie--couldn't get enough of them. Harry Nillson blew me away. I love Steely Dan and could never figure out how they became pop stars. I stopped listening in the 80's.

Favorite Movie(s), Then and Now?

The Music Man made me feel good. Still does.
Psycho scared me silly.
The Commitments is a movie for the ages.
Bull Durham tells you most of what you need to know in life.

Favorite T.V. Program(s), Then and Now?

Maverick was a Sunday night event at our house. My dad would drive to the donut shop on 9th Street in Phoenix and get a couple dozen donuts and we would lie on the tile floor in front of the black and white TV and eat donuts while we watched.
Now I watch Antiques Roadshow. I don't know why.

What teachers stand out most from those Tempe High School days? Why?

I liked something about all my teachers. David Price and Chet Kennedy knew how to get the best out of me. So did Bob Sluzarek, the JayVee coach. Leta Bowyer and Miss Craig were nice to me and treated me with respect. Bruce Harper spoke to me as though I were a peer, not a kid--that was unforgettable. Mrs. Bernard and I talked about writing off and on for another 30 years after I graduated--she made me feel like it was worth trying to do well. Every time I had occasion to speak with one of my teachers after I had kids of my own I was impressed by their good will and interest in the welfare of their students. Teachers really are remarkable people.

What would you like to share about what you've learned from life the past years since Tempe High School?

Jeez--it goes by quickly.

Are there any embarrassing moments that you are interested in sharing? Strictly optional.

I was embarrassed by almost everything. After Brenda Bachelor asked me if I had a thing for Barbara Grim the Monday after the first dance when we were Freshmen because I had danced with her a few times, I never went back to another dance until our senior year even though I loved to dance and was good at it. I didn't want anybody talking about me. As far as I knew I lived in the wrong place, wore the wrong clothes, rode in the wrong cars, had the wrong sisters, said the wrong things. I don't think that's a very good time of life for any of us.

Who is that "one person" you would like to see and talk with from your days at Tempe High? Why?

There are many people in our class that were an important part of my life who haven't responded to this. Gilbert Aragon and I were friends from the first grade on--Herschel Powell too. LeRoy Gamboa's courage always amazed me. Gilbert Valdez influenced me in ways he has no inkling of. Julio Calderon and Melciades Solis were reliable friends. Scotty Crawford taught me a lot. I'm sorry I've lost touch with them and many others.

Herb's Latest Interactions

Herb McLure has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Aug 28, 2022 at 11:14 AM

I was a teamate and friend of John's too. He was the best basketball player I ever played with and excelled at many other things. My mom used to call him "Framingham", so I did too. When a group of us camped out at Canyon Lake in the summer of 1960 I found out he had a wonderful singing voice, a talent I don't think he revealed very often. I enjoyed a long chat with him a few months ago; he knew what was coming and was doing his best to enjoy whatever time he had left. Lately I have realized that none of these lifelong friendships and marriages many of us have enjoyed have happy endings, so we better focus on enjoying each day we have together.

Herb McLure has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Apr 29, 2022 at 9:30 AM

Bob is another one of our classmates I knew pretty well but wasn't really friends with. He was so energetic and enthusiastic in a completely pragmatic way he couldn't help being a force among his classmates. He knew how to enlist people in his interests and got people to do things they otherwise might not have. He also knew how to have fun. I was surprised when he graduated from college and became a teacher. I was not at all surprised that he became influential in politics and I'm sure the people of Casa Grande and Arizona benefitted greatly from his work.

These memorials are piling up on us now; many lives well lived and now over. It's sad, but that's the deal.

Herb McLure has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Apr 29, 2022 at 9:18 AM

I wasn't a "friend" of John's but I knew and admired him. He seemed the paragon of appearance and behavior to me when we were in high school. I never saw him look angry, unhappy, or arrogant. I never heard him say anything unkind or impolite. I never saw him do anything questionable. He somehow at an early age had mastered remarkable social skills and his peers respected his abilities. I'm sure John had his moments but I and most of the world never saw anything but kindness and respect from him. There have been few people in my life I could say such things about. I hope all the things he believed about eternity come true for him.

Herb McLure updated profile. View.
Nov 02, 2021 at 2:29 PM
Herb McLure has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Nov 02, 2021 at 1:59 PM

John and his wife Sylvia, and Jane and I moved to Los Angeles at about the same time in 1964; John was finishing his industrial design degree at USC and I started my career with GAO. After John graduated he was one of the first people programming robotic manufacturing devices. Our children were born in LA (Rene and Toby for the Radcliffes and Kelly and Molly for us) and Jane and Sylvia became close friends sharing play dates for the kids and inspiring artistic endeavors in each other. The Radcliffes moved to Window Rock (Sylvia was Navajo from a prominent family) about the same time we moved to DC. John and Sylvia both became talented silversmiths and jewelry crafters and John also worked for the Tribe. They lived on a windswept hillside with a huge vista out the back of red rocks and blue skies, similar to the Navajo art we are familiar with. Their friendship was an important part of our life for a long time and we are sorry to hear of John's passing. He was a good friend and always an interesting person to be around. 

Herb McLure posted a message.
Nov 07, 2020 at 3:28 PM

Looking forward to seeing you next October!!

Herb McLure posted a message.
Nov 06, 2020 at 10:40 AM

Welcome! I was always somewhat in awe of you and Karl Guelich and the other upper classmen, and envied the bright colored chinos you wore one of those years. I lived in LA five years before spending most of my career in DC, and remember the oddity of running into you on a golf course in the San Fernando Valley in 67 or 68. It was remarkable how many people from Tempe I ran into in LA; ie Henry Spencer one night on Sunset Blvd, a couple of guys at Dodger Stadium, another on Hollywood Blvd. Saw more Tempe people than movie stars.

Herb McLure has a birthday today. New comment added.
Sep 18, 2020 at 3:46 PM

Posted on: Sep 18, 2020 at 1:33 AM

Jan 03, 2020 at 7:42 AM

Great photo guy, you two are growing old with class. It’s great that we are vertical, healthy, happy. HAPPY NEW YEAR. Joan and I are expanding our Villa B&B by adding a beach cottage to rent. If you find your way West come and visit SW Washington State.

Herb McLure has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jan 02, 2020 at 1:33 PM

Ed was a gung ho Army guy. We both lived in the DC area for a time and he visited me once to see if I could provide an acceptable site to leave his beloved Corvette while he was traveling with the Army recruitment team he worked on. My driveway didn't meet his requirements, but we had an evening filled with conversation. Eddie discussed everything in full. We all should live with his enthusiasm.

Herb McLure posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 03, 2020 at 4:25 PM

Posted on: Jan 02, 2020 at 11:19 AM

Jane and I put on our formal duds for new year's eve 2020. Celebrated with daughter Molly and her kids who tried (but thankfully failed) to immolate themselves in the back yard. Reminded me of some of the truly stupid things I've done (and survived) in my life. I think I appreciate how precious life is more in my 77th year than in the past.

Herb McLure has a birthday today. New comment added.
Sep 19, 2019 at 2:46 AM

Posted on: Sep 18, 2019 at 1:33 AM

Herb McLure added a comment on Profile. New comment added.
Sep 18, 2019 at 1:57 PM

Posted on: Nov 15, 2018 at 2:18 PM

Jim Carraway, Arizona Snow Bowl, 1964-65???
Nov 03, 2018 at 2:54 PM

Posted on: Nov 02, 2018 at 7:50 AM

Congratulations on your 56th Anniversary. Gene and I will hit 57 in March. Not many couples can say this.

Herb McLure posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 26, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Posted on: Nov 01, 2018 at 11:46 AM

Today is the day before my 56th wedding anniversary with Jane (nee Rosio) so I thought I oughtta update this profile. We are still alive and well. My body is trying to get old but my brain hasn't caught on. Like most of us, I still think of myself as about 24. It's pretty disappointing when I try to do physical things a 24 year-old can do. We settled in to our life in Birmingham well. We came here to be close to our kids and grandkids and we still see all of them most every day. The grandkids have grown up--two are in college and the other two in high school. All are remarkable and chasing them around has been a lot of fun. I play in a senior softball league from April through October and even though I can't throw and can barely run it still feels the same and is as much fun as it ever was. I like to play golf too. Otherwise I read, do crossword puzzles, and write for fun when I feel like it. I have always loved to drive and Jane was kind enough to ride up to Alaska with me a few years ago on the Alaska Highway, something I'd always wanted to do. We didn't stay. We'd both been to Alaska before. I just wanted to do the drive so we went to Fairbanks, stayed overnight, and drove back. It's a long way. This summer we drove the Oregon Trail in reverse because I'd been reading some books about railroading and pioneering and got interested in it. I could go on at length about it--almost everyone who went west in the 19th century took the Oregon Trail (the Mormons called it the Mormon Trail) and it is still the route the railroads and interstates use. And to appreciate the Oregon Trail, you also have to appreciate mules, which played a huge role in US history and were a strategic military asset for 150 years. We had the best in the world, all because the kings of France and Spain liked George Washington. Betcha didn't know that. Jane is still playing tennis and loves shopping with her grand daughters. Those of you who knew me well in 1961-62, were unlikely to think I could be serious about anything, but I was serious about Jane. I admired her and wanted to impress her and merit her admiration and love and I hope I've done that. She's still the one for me.

Sep 18, 2018 at 8:10 AM


Herb McLure has a birthday today.
Sep 18, 2018 at 1:33 AM
Dec 23, 2017 at 10:13 AM

Enjoyed reading about those grandkids, Hannah must be very talented as Roxy Hart is a challenging part. We see a lot of musical theater. Saw three shows in NYC in October. In fact, we are planning another Broadway visit in the spring. We want to see Kinky Boots, Hamilton and Lion King. You mentioned Barbara Kingsolver...I've read three of her novels. HIGHTIDE IN TUCSON was the first one which led me to the others. She's an excellent writer. I've been reading a lot, preferring large print. For your Zoe, I'd recommend she read WILD HORSE COUNTRY by Pulitzer Prize winning author, David Philipps. As you probably know, we have many wild horses (mustangs) near us around the Salt River, Saguaro Lake, and desert areas near the Verde River . Philipps has done extensive research. Zoe may like this read, if she can find spare time at this time of her busy life. I still fish, kayak, love camping and the out-of-doors. It's nice to live close to Tempe (Fountain Hills) so I can keep up with old friends and family in the area. Stay in touch.

Oct 25, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Really Belated birthday wishes. Our travel preparations in September is my excuse. I love seeing your photos. You and Jane seem so happy and obviously enjoying those grandkids.

Sep 18, 2017 at 8:45 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ole pal. At our age every day is special

Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Bryce Canyon in 2009
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Our back yard in Tallahassee
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Jane last week at Lake Superior
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Sam and Grampa
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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM
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Family and friends
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Kids and grandkids
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM