|John Berryhill, 1977 Wayzata Citizen of the Year. Photo courtesy Facebook.|
Wayzata.com caught up with the famous John Berryhill, Wayzata’s 1977 Citizen of the Year recently. Here is a Q&A with John!
Q: How long have you lived in Wayzata?
A: 51 long years!
Q: What has drawn you to this city?
A: [Chuckling in the background]
Q:John, why were you the 1977 person of the year?
A: Citizen of the year (he corrected) Well, I served on a Wayzata planning commission for six years (1971-1976). The major function of the six years were the red condos on the north side of Lakestreet and getting all of that approved. I was also very active in boyscout troup 283 at Wayzata Community Church. I was scout master. We took hearing after hearing and we finally got it done. The planning commission was extrememly important to have residential in downtown Wayzata. Those who were opposed to it because it was going to take up commercial space but certainly back in the 1970s there wasn’t anybody doing that commercial building in downtown Wayzata. So we went to the condos. There were some very opinionated groups of citizens we had to deal with.
Q: What are you doing now?
A: Well, I’m a volunteer in Wayzata Big Woods Park. I do anything from woodchipping the trees to pulling Buckthorn. I’m working on a little patch on the Macgyver facility. There’s a little patch back there.
Q: How did you get involved in that?
A: That was a long arguous process. I was not involved in the process. Providence Academy required the property from the Nuns and fortunately the council let them cut down little trees for their football fields.
Q: You’ve lived in Wayzata for 51 years….
A: 51 LONG years…..[chuckle]
Q: Have you lived in the same place?
A: Yea same old place.
Q: Did you raise a family here?
A: Yes, three kids. We put them through Wayzata schools.
Q: What is important about you Mr.John Berryhill?
A: Well, I was a 1948 Eagle Scout and 1977 citizen of the year….
Q: I understand you tell that to people when you meet them?
A: That is correct. I mean whenever I speak in front of Wayzata City Council I always remind them. They won’t let me walk away from the podium without reminding them. It’s a longstanding joke.
Q: Why do you do that?
A: Just to jerk people’s chain. I am a chain jerker from way back. A joke with people, in a way.