Brotherly Love Lives On

Published 9:02 am Monday, June 6, 2016

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury

   It is a treasure these days to stumble, like blind hogs, upon “good news”–the kind that doesn’t come close to banner headlines or the “breaking news” teases that introduce TV newscasts.

Had this one occurred in Philadelphia in other days, it may well have extended its claim to being the “city of brotherly love.”

But in today’s culture, this “news” is little more than a blip on the screen of life for more than ten million folks in the Metroplex. However, if it doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, you may have “unwarmable” cockles.

Players in this real life drama are members of the Sherrington family. Kevin, a veteran Dallas Morning News sportswriter, and Debbie, a residential Realtor, said “I do” 29 years ago. To this union have been added sons Jake, 25, and Ford, 18, and daughters Madeleine, 23, and Olivia, 17.

The children–all four–are the kind who’d make any parent proud. “Sherrington” is a magic name at Hillcrest High School, where each has earned National Honor Society recognition. All are active at Highland Park United Methodist Church, and so well-rounded are they that the mention of their names makes others smile.

Space limitation prevents giving all of them their due, so only Ford is highlighted here. He’s the 2016 HHS graduate. Diagnosed in eighth grade with diabetes, he has overcome by any measure one would like to apply. He was an all-district baseball pitcher three years, cited this spring as the district MVP. He also sported a .521 batting average. At a school with 10% Anglo enrollment, he was both homecoming and prom king this year.

Enrolling at Hendrix College in Arkansas this fall, he’ll arrive there in his most prized earthly possession–a 2006 Ford F-250 truck. The vehicle of his dreams, it was pretty much idle on his Uncle John’s place near Hondo in 2014 when replaced by a new vehicle. Ford was finishing his sophomore year, and that’s when the Sherrington kids get vehicles.

Everyone knew how much Ford loved the truck, so Kevin called his big brother, inquiring if it might be for sale. John knew it would be his nephew’s first vehicle. However, he didn’t know how to price it, or “even the Kelley Blue Book value.” Kevin was ready, stating it to be $18,000. “What’ll you give?” the Houston engineer asked.

Kevin answered $10,000. He took it.

Ford has driven it proudly for some 26 months and change.

Then, in the fading days of this, his senior year, it was stolen from the school parking lot.

Lament coated the entire family. Sure, there was graduation joy, but the theft rained on this family’s parade for a full 48 hours. Police offered little hope that the truck would ever be recovered.

Again, a big brother came to the rescue. Jake, a 2013 Millsaps College graduate and now a commercial Realtor, set out Friday afternoon–then again on Sunday–to find his little brother’s pick-up.

Good luck, thought Kevin, finding a vehicle in the big city that has no end. Probably it already was carved beyond recognition in a “chop shop,” or on its way to Mexico.

Jake and girlfriend Emily Westbrook scoured parking lots hither and yon. While driving east on Singleton–near the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge–he spotted Ford’s truck. It was parked behind a tobacco shop. Jake called his dad, and they waited to see whether the police or the robber appeared first.

It was the “good guys.” They examined ownership papers, scanned the police report, and advised the Sherringtons to take the truck home.

“The family has six vehicles,” Kevin beamed. “But we’d have chosen to give up the other five just to get the truck back.”

This from a family whose last new vehicle was a 1995 Chevy Suburban Debbie drove for several years before surrendering it to Kevin. Nineteen years later and 342,000 miles on the odometer, the Suburban went to Dallas Can. Kevin wept, or might near so.

For Ford, these past few days have been times for thanksgiving.

Baccalaureate services had new meaning. His life is richer with a renewed awareness that he is both loved and admired.

And all the Sherringtons are rejoicing.


   Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: Columns archived at, newbury blog.