[The following is a transcript of an interview Allyson Charles had with Judge Nichols on her podcast.]
Allyson: Hi, Judge. How are you today?
Judge: Every day I’m above ground is a good one.
Allyson: Come on. You must have had some bad ones. You’re the lone judge for Crook County. You must have heard and seen some bad things in the courthouse that would give you a bad day.
Judge: Contrary to its name, Crook County is a great place to be a judge. We have a very low crime rate and I mostly preside over squabbles between neighbors.
Allyson: How long have you been a judge now?
Judge: Almost … thirty years now. *He shakes his head* Time flies by fast when you enjoy what you do.
Allyson: Well, everyone in Crook County knows about your career history – enlisted in the Air Force for four years, then law school, and then private practice for almost two decades. How about we tell them some things they don’t know?
Judge: *He shifts on seat* I don’t know if I should be scared or not.
Allyson: *Laughs* I’ll start off easy. Where’s your favorite place to eat in Pineville?
Judge: The Pantry, hands down. The peach pie there is heaven sent. Wait … Genie won’t be listening to this, will she? Change my answer to Eugenie’s house.
Allyson: Uh, this is a live broadcast. I can’t really change it.
Judge: *He runs a hand through his hair* Well, I meant Genie’s kitchen. She’s the best cook around.
Allyson: Since you’ve opened that door … It’s no secret that you and Eugenie Shaw have become more than friends. Now, you’ve presided over your share of weddings. Will Pineville hear wedding bells of your own making any time soon?
Judge: *His cheeks turn pink* Marriage is a serious business. Very serious. I wouldn’t … that is to say … we haven’t ….
Allyson: I’ll take pity on you and retract that question.
Allyson: Who’s your favorite Supreme?
Judge: Diana Ross.
Allyson: *Rolls eyes* I meant Supreme Court Justice.
Judge: *He smiles* I know what you meant. But nowadays that’s a political statement. As an elected official, that’s a kettle of worms I want to stay as far away from as possible.
Allyson: Do you see yourself retiring any time soon?
Judge: Oh, I think some new blood will be sitting on the bench fairly soon. I only have to convince the woman to run …
Allyson: Can you give us a name?
Judge: *He pats Allyson’s hand* You’ll see it on the ballot along with everyone else. Now, I have to get back to session. Anything else before I go?
Allyson: One more question. And maybe it will help convince your mystery woman to run. What do you like most about being a judge?
Judge: That’s easy. I love helping two opposing sides find a resolution. The individuals might not like my decision at first, but I hope, with time, they’ll think I made a wise choice.
Allyson: You seem to have had a hand in several opposing sides coming together and finding love. Surely that’s not usually a part of the judicial process.
Judge: *His eyes twinkling* That, my dear, is what I’d call a fringe benefit.
Allyson: There you have it, folks. Judge Herbert Nichols.