Herbert A. Moore, 89, is the owner of an extraordinary life.
A retired businessman, Herby now makes his living creating and selling one-of-a-kind paintings. He paints scenes he remembers from his childhood and historic scenes of Cynthiana. Admirers from all across the state have snapped them up. “I believe you are the 8th wonder of the world, Herby Moore,” says Jannine Walker, one of his customers.
Four years ago, Herby lost his wife of 61 years, Mary (Mernie). He lives on in the Cynthiana home where he and his wife raised their children. He has five children, including one from his previous marriage and two from his wife’s previous marriage.
The four living children have moved away and are entering the elderly stages of their lives. “I’ve lost everything — my oldest daughter and my wife — and I’m almost 90 but I don’t want to give up,” he says. “I want to keep going.”
Since Herby lost his wife, he lives by a strict routine of waking up at 4:30 a.m. He makes his bed, eats breakfast and then works on art. Before the sun comes up, he will have made paintings to fill orders or coloring book pages to send off to be printed.
Herby is also active in the community. Once a month, he visits Cedar Ridge Health Campus to show residents his art works. From the lobby display of his recent favorites, Herby picks up every picture and from memory, tells the story behind it. He ends with a pep talk to the residents, some of whom are younger than he.
He says he enjoys coming to spend time with residents. “I want them to know that there’s someone out there that loves them — me,” he says.
Once a week, Herby teaches an art class for children at his church, First United Methodist. He brings the pre-schoolers pages that he has created for them to color. “I want to be a good Christian and help little fellas grow up,” he says. He also hopes to be known as pleasant by everyone he meets.
Herby considers himself a success as an artist. “I want to be successful each day,” he says. “I go a day at a time.” He works to be self-sufficient through painting sales. “If I sell a painting for $800, I want to make sure it is worth $800,” he says.
“I don’t think I’m dramatically different from any other old man,” Herby says. “I’m just a painter.”