Over the weekend, my friend Herb Emory died. We referred to him as Captain Herb. If any of you have spent any time in Atlanta in the past several decades, you have probably heard Captain Herb on the radio. He was the voice of Atlanta traffic. For more than two decades, his voice has been on WSB radio getting you to work in the morning and home in the evening.
Captain Herb was brilliant at what he did. He coined terms for roads in Atlanta that every other traffic reporter in the city picked up and used. He was generous with his time too. He made over eighty personal appearances last year just because someone asked him to.
He was also a connoisseur of greasy spoons and various meat and three restaurants in the metropolitan area. He and I had shared more than one grilled pimento cheese sandwich together. I think every police officer in the metro area knew him. He volunteered at food banks, animal rescue facilities, for the Toys 4 Tots program, and more.
Captain Herb was a celebrity, but he was also a servant leader. He put others before himself. He did so Saturday when he called in a wreck, went to make sure everyone was okay, then helped direct traffic before succumbing to a heart attack.
Anyone who knew him knows how fitting it was that Captain Herb’s last act was helping others. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. The angels on Jacob’s Ladder now know how much gridlock there is and all the alternate routes.