Those were the words of John Quitman Hyde IV: former Lafayette police chief, a unique raconteur, a fixture presiding at Red's and a personality that wouldn't quit.
The chief's life ended last week at the age of 72. He spent the last 24 years battling the limitations and occasional setbacks from a stroke he suffered in 1981. In spite of communication challenges and restrictions on movement, he lived his life to the fullest.
Quite often it took a gentle game of charades to figure out what he was trying to say, but it worked. He knew what he wanted to say, and he prevailed. On occasional visits at his home it was a ritual to go through albums of pictures, boxes of mementos, newspaper clippings, and plaques and pictures on the wall. Each visit required repetition of the process, but it was great being able to relish past experiences, especially those we shared. And many laughs came with them.
When I came into office in June 1980, I got to know the chief and engage his strong personality before his stroke. He was full of excitement at the prospect of running a police department. Sitting across the desk from him, I heard his ideas of what he wanted to accomplish for the Lafayette Police Department. There was good reason to be optimistic about his goals. After all, the chief had a highly commendable background of law enforcement and investigation. He was charged up and ready to go, and he did a great job. Unfortunately, it only lasted 14 months.
The stroke left him paralyzed on one side with very little ability to speak. With therapy and determination he persevered and established a unique way to communicate. And within that communication, his strong and vibrant personality was intact. A lesser man would shy away from society, but not the chief. He made his presence known and felt.
He had strong family support over the years as well as a long list of friends who enjoyed a friendly joust and/or encounter. Being a friend of the chief was a privilege, and it was fun. He and I saw eye to eye in the area of politics, and in that respect communication seemed easy. Most all comments came in pairs of words. Mention Ronald Reagan, and the comment was, "good man, good man." He probably knew the names of most people who would stop to talk with him, but he just made it simple and called everybody "baby." He had nicknames for everybody he liked and those he didn't like, and sometimes an "s.o.b." might slip in.
John Q. Hyde was a "good man, good man" in the truest sense of the word. He was a husband and father, a true family man. He was a law enforcement officer, something he was proud of. And he was the chief ' leaving an indelible print on the city of Lafayette and the people with whom he came in contact.
So long, chief, and may you finally rest in peace.
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
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The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
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With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.