Kenneth Berry Papermaker

Profile Updated: March 24, 2019
Kenneth Berry
Last Year of Employment at Mill: 1970
Currently residing In: Honolulu, HI USA
Spouse/Partner: Karen Sayuri Berry
Children: Sheela, 1973; Shane, 1974
Military Service: Army  
Yes! Attending Reunion

I joined the Nashville Songwriters Association a few years ago while living in Hawaii. The first song I submitted for evaluation prior to demo was called "Johnny's." A few weeks later I received my critique, saying the song had a great melody but it was too much like a movie. I was told "too damn much is happening and it is too long." Anybody remember Johnny's tavern, before anything else was at what was called back then the nine-mile junction? A mandatory stop for many papermakers after day and swing shifts? I may have consumed more beer with papermakers there than I consumed in the 40 years since. But there really was a lot happening. Someone should make a movie about Johnny's back then, and the many colorful characters including Broom, Bartles, Barnes, Lambert, Smith, Swaderer, Gardner, and so many others who worked at the paper mill and hung out there!

I've done a lot since then, but many of my fondest memories involve the paper mill and the people who worked there. Great people from all walks, with commonalities including talent, stamina, intellect and an abundance of common sense. It was heartbreaking the other day to first learn about the closing. And worse to learn at this site so many old friends like Donnie Armstrong and Ron Petit are no longer with us. When I'm in a better mood, I'll find a guitar and write another song.

Kenneth's Latest Interactions

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Apr 02, 2024 at 2:33 AM
Apr 02, 2023 at 2:33 AM
Jul 08, 2020 at 10:25 AM

Sad to learn of Tandy's passing. My seven years in the paper mill remain etched in my brain. Though I soon came to love everyone on the paper machines, Tandy was certainly the most welcoming and helpful in my transition from college nerd to budding paper maker!  I'll always remember him fondly as a gifted leader and great foreman with an exceptional 'C' crew during my first months in a challenging environment!

Kenneth Berry Papermaker has left an In Memory comment for his Profile.
Mar 24, 2019 at 2:33 AM

To me, Jerry was a great, great man and exceptional shift foreman. I was a part time cleanup man when he took me under his wing.

Jerry inspired me with his skill sets, his knowledge, his energy and his passion for papermaking. He loved that I was caught up in it all, and went out of his way to help explain details that became increasingly valuable as I moved up the line of progression to a stock prep post where I could make a difference.

I dropped out of college to become a papermaker and now, more than a half century later, I can say I learned from Jerry during my seven years at the mill  things that still resonate about papermaking and about life in general. 

After all these years, I still think about Jerry, my first mentor, and many other great men who I rubbed elbows with at Hoerner Waldorf' paper mill during the 60s--some at the top like Jim Majors and Les Hunt, but most at the bottom like me--and all with a special blend of toughness, compassion and intellect. I was so blessed to be a part of it all. --Ken Berry

Mar 24, 2019 at 12:00 AM

I hate coming here, breaks my heart to think so few papermakers are apt to remember Johnny's--mentioned in my previous comment. In the few minutes here tonight, I flashed back on a few great papermakers on foreman Mike DeVries' shift in the late 60s. Several of us formed a basketball team that competed with teams from Darby, Clinton, Stevensville, etc. The name of the team was: Devries Shift. Our games were frequently mentioned in the Missoulian, and players who were making Mike a household name expected drinks to be on the house when he was around. It's sad trying to remember all those stars--at work as well as on the basketball court: Don Armstrong, Ron Petit, Dee Archibald, Jim Hayes, Ted Boyd. and a few others.Good days long gone.

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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM