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Tribute to Judge Bill Logue

By KATHERINE LOGUE

EDITOR'S NOTE: This tribute to Judge Bill Logue, written by his daughter Katherine in collaboration with her sisters, appeared in the January 1999 Waco (TX) Today. It is being reprinted as a tribute to the judge, who died Oct. 12, 2005.

My dad is known for many things in Waco. Some people know him for his many accomplishments and awards. Most know him for his 47 years on the judicial bench. He is a devoted Baylor Bear fan, makes 8,000 chocolate balls during Christmas, and has a phenomenal ability to remember names.

Some know that he was a prisoner of war, captured during the Battle of the Bulge. His neighbors know him as a paper boy because he throws their newspapers onto their porches during his morning walks.

What people may not know is that Bill Logue is the world's best father. To my three sisters — Linda, Sharon, Margaret — and me, that is his most important accomplishment. We are the four "Logue girls," and here are some of the things we learned from our father.

We learned bad eating habits. On rainy weekends, Dad would pop a huge pot of buttered popcorn or make a big batch of fudge. On dry days, he would make a batch of my mother's favorite — divinity.

Summer meant homemade ice cream, with fights over who had to sit on the freezer as Dad turned the hand-crank. Summer also meant "vegetable dinners," with all the fixings coming from Dad's garden. Our favorite was his home-grown eggplant fried in bacon grease.

Piano recitals and sporting accomplishments were rewarded with a dipped cone from Dan's Dairy Queen. When we fidgeted in church, Dad distributed Lifesavers. Kindergarten meant that Dad would pick you up for lunch and take you to Porter's Pharmacy for a grilled tuna sandwich and a chocolate malt.

We learned a lot of gospel songs. As we drove along on vacations, Dad would begin a hymn and we would join in. He usually knew only the first verse and frequently changed keys mid-refrain, but it didn't matter. All four of us can still break in "At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light . . ." Luckily my mother, Gloria, could carry a tune, and she helped out.

We learned to love animals. During the Depression, Dad befriended a crippled chicken. He would come home from school each day and pet his chicken.

Sure enough, one day he came home and his chicken was missing. He found his mother in the kitchen, plucking his pet for dinner. He didn't eat chicken again until he entered the Army during World War II.

Over the years, Dad has had a legion of pets: Wiggle, Blackie, Little, Sam, Crosby, Kirby, and Kitty Widdy, to name a few. Among the four daughters, we've had nine dogs, 12 cats, several birds, innumerable fish, and a hamster since leaving home. The only rule for a Logue pet? No discipline and spoil it rotten.

Dad taught us to be frugal . . . or cheap, depending on your viewpoint. A child of the Depression, he takes full advantage. None of the Logue girls has ever actually bought a roll of toilet paper. We go to Dad's stockpile of paper goods that he stores in his garage.

With the arrival of grandchildren, he has added diapers and baby wipes to his bargain shopping list. Dad taught us that there is nothing wrong with driving a 15-year-old rusted aqua-colored Chevy Impala. After all, a car is a car.

He taught us to be sports lovers — loyal to losing causes and always pulling for the underdog. He taught us to love gardening and seeing things grow. After all . . . "nothing beats a homegrown tomato."

Dad taught us to always take a sweater, "because only beggars and fools go cold."

He taught us to love learning. Whether it was helping us read "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" or working on multiplication flash cards, Dad spent his after-supper hours encouraging our minds. Listening to his stories during Sunday lunch, we learned that life is full of connections. He taught us a love of family, of history, and of the human element.

We learned to have a sense of humor. Any man who can live with five women has to have a good one. He taught us that everyone and everything you love deserves a nickname.

By his own example, Dad taught us to be patient, to "do unto others" and to be gracious to everyone. He taught us that you don't need profanity when you can express your strongest sentiments with "John Brown, cottonpickin'." (We learned some lessons better than others.)

What is it like to have Bill Logue for a father? Foremost, it is to know that you are the most special child in the universe. Each of us was the "finest of the fine, the goodest of the good." Even today, he reminds us how precious we are.

What is the most important thing the Logue girls have learned from their father? We learned that a "real man" drops whatever he's doing when his family needs him. We learned that our father has a kind and gentle heart.

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