Profile: Arlie Herron, a graduate of the Dora High School Class of 1943
Arlie Herron graduated from Dora High School in 1943. “Those days at Dora High School seem like another person, another world,” he remembers.
Herron had a fourth grade teacher, Mr. Dunn, who kept saying to me, "You are going to college, aren't you?" Herron didn't know what he was
talking about, but he remembered his saying that later.
He went to Dora when he was 12 years old. “I didn't fit in. I was from out in the country. I rode a bus about thirty miles each way,” he says.
He was also seen as too young to be there. His age and the fact that he had to commute so far to and from school kept him from participating in any extracurricular activities.
Another teacher that stands out in his mind was Josephine Andrews. “Mrs. Andrews, who showed an interest in me.”
Herron also remembers that Mrs. Andrews’ husband Ivy Paul Andrews had once pitched for the New York Yankees. He taught physical education at Dora during Arlie’s time there.
“I remember they invited me to spend the night at their house so I could go to the high school play.”
Even though Herron was young, he scored high in math so he was exempt from taking the final. He was 16 years old.
Not long after graduation Herron went to live with his father’s family in Goodsprings, Alabama.
His first job was as a helper on a survey crew with the Alabama Power Company.
It was during this time that he kept thinking about the words of his forth-grade teacher, Mr. Dunn. At year’s end, he made his way to Tuscaloosa and enrolled in the University of Alabama.
He majored in Education Music and upon graduation he got a job teaching English at Adel High School in South Georgia.
After three years, he went to Athens to the University of Georgia and enrolled in the graduate program in English.
He taught there while finishing up his Master's Degree and afterwards got a job in the English Dept. at the Univ. of Chattanooga, which later became the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
After 371/2 years, teaching there, he retired in 1999 as Head of the Eng. Dept.
“I took a five year seminar on India with Columbia University and spent two summers in India after that,” he says. He later returned to India on a mission trip.
“I taught classes on India for thirty years. I also taught classes on the writing of William Faulkner for thirty-five years,” he says.
Herron was twice awarded the Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the University of Tennessee alumni association.
Now retired, he lives with his wife, Sarah in Ooltewah, TN, which is 20 miles outside of Chattanooga.
The Herron’s have four children, five grandchildren, and a great grandson.
“The children live in Tenn. and we visit each other often,” he said. Sarah and Arlie are members of the Ooltewah United Methodist Church and attend Service and every Sunday.
He passes the time these days reading, surfing the web, taking long walks, and watching TV.
His main ambition in retirement is to take better photographs. He had two shows of his photographs at the University of Mississippi, entitled 'After Reading Faulkner'. These were pictures made in North Mississippi.
Sunday, Nov. 17, is Arlie’s birthday. He'll be eighty-six.