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.
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The enrollment period ends this month.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.