Back Bay Wildfowl Memories Where are they now?

Ann and Herb

HERB AND ANNE VERHAAGEN

Herb and Ann Verhaagen are longtime members of the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild. Both of them have served as president of the Board of Directors for the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. Their tenure as president was lengthy in both cases, Herb served as president for about four years and then Ann followed him with a term of five years (2005-2014). They were both significant contributors to the Mid-Atlantic Wildfowl Festival, which was produced by the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild from 1976 through 2007. Their leadership helped hold the Guild together when the wildfowl festival was fading away. They have been married 58 years!

I am frequently asked by the members in our organization, how Herb and Anne Verhaagen are doing. I usually have to answer, “I don’t know? I haven’t heard from them in a very long time.” I have tried on a number of occasions to call them. The phone would ring and ring. Eventually, I would get Ann’s very upbeat telephone answering machine message. “Hello, you terrifically wonderful person,” so I would leave a message:but,no one ever called back. When I had to make a trip down Shore Drive into Norfolk and I would pass by the Verhaagen’s neighborhood; I would always stop by hoping to catch them at home. But, no one ever came to the door. I reached out to their son, David, who lives in Tennessee. He was able to catch me up on some of the things that had been happening with Herb and Anne and provided this picture. He said that both of them had some medical setbacks over the past two years that pretty much keep them confined to the house. He encouraged me to continue to try and contact them. He added that his brother, Brian, goes by the house regularly to check on them and help them with any demanding tasks.

So I made up my mind to find them both. This past Wednesday I went by the house again. I did knock on the doors and ring the door bells: still no one came to the door. Undeterred, I walked around the house and knocked on windows until I got Ann’s attention. She came and met me at the door to let me in. She is just as beautiful as she ever was with a big full face smile. She walked me back to see Herbie, as she calls him. Herb has suffered some strokes that have confined him to bed most of the time. He is receiving professional nursing care daily. The stokes have affected some of his cognitive function according to Ann; but, on Wednesday he was doing well and greeted me with a great big smile. We all talked about the guild and the members they miss as well as all of the members we have lost in 2020. If you would like to contact Ann and Herb you can reach them via email at ann.verhaagen@cox.net.

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