Pudy and Jat

Auto correct does not like the names used in the title of the blog and yet another grammar error will soon follow. The grammar police won’t like that one, either.

I grew up on Yuma Trail in Bisbee, Arizona, right at the edge of town in what was known as the “Warren” neighborhood. The houses were all on the south side of Yuma Trail. The north side consisted of fenced pasture land. We called it “up across the road”. I have had several editors and countless teachers tell me that using two prepositions in a row is frowned upon, but in this case, those two words both apply because that pasture land was both across the road and up a hill. So take that you grammatical nit-pickers you!

Pasture land in southern Arizona is also open desert which means there were a few desert-dwelling creatures in the near neighborhood. One summer day when I was out in the yard bare-foot, I spotted a rattlesnake sunning itself on the walkway on the west side of the house. I went screaming inside, sounding the alarm. When Janice, my oldest sister, came out to check, the snake had disappeared, and she always maintained that I had made it up. I hadn’t. I saw that snake as plain as day, and I always assumed that he had been as startled by my presence as I had been by his and he had taken pains to exit the scene, most likely by darting under the fence that separated our yard from Mr. and Mrs. Corbett’s place next door.

Bisbee is built on hills which means that there are some straight streets and plenty of crooked ones. When I was in fourth grade, a new family named McAdams moved into our neighborhood. Theirs was a family of four—Thelma and Mac, and their two kids Pat and Ted. Pat and I quickly became fast friends. In terms of distance their house on Campbell Avenue (one of Bisbee’s straight streets) was probably less than a block from ours as the crow flies but a lot farther if you followed the streets. I usually used a shortcut, following a path that took me between our yard and the Corbett’s garage and house, across Cole Avenue, past Harriett Smith’s house on the corner, and then into Pat’s back yard. Believe me, that became a well-worn path. It was fine during the daytime, but whenever I had to travel that route at night, I always remembered that slumbering rattlesnake and held my breath.

As I said, Pat and I became fast friends. There were seven kids in our house and two in theirs. Pat had a bedroom ALL TO HERSELF!!! We spent hours playing with paper dolls—especially Queen Elizabeth Coronation paper dolls—on the carpeted floor of her bedroom. (There were no carpeted floors in our house—only rag-rugs that had to be shaken by hand every Saturday morning.) Since Queen Elizabeth is coming up on her Diamond Jubilee year, I guess Pat’s and my friendship is too. By the way, a couple of years ago for my birthday, Pat sent me a duplicate of that coronation paper doll book. It’s one of my treasures.

From fourth grade on, we attended the same schools—Greenway Elementary and Bisbee High School. In those eight years, however, we were in the same class only three times. The first of those was in fifth grade. Miss Stammer, a recent and reluctant exile from Chicago, was our teacher. Pat and I were not exactly angelic. Each day when we went home for lunch, we returned munching garlic pickles. I’m sure we reeked all afternoon. We also used folded clothes hangers to pass notes back and forth. Amazingly enough we never got in trouble. Miss Stammer was far too focused on one of the boys in our class, Floyd Lucero, who was always in trouble with her from the moment she caught sight of him each morning.

Once Pat and I got to Bisbee High, we walked to school together every day and ate lunch together in the cafeteria, but the first time we had a class together was in Mrs. Riggins’s Journalism 1 class during our junior year. Then, our senior year, once we were appointed co-editors of the school paper, the Copper Chronicle, we were together again for Journalism 2. Being editors meant we did a lot of work. We learned to count the letters to write headlines. We edited the articles the Journalism 1 students submitted. We had to do all the layout for the paper and then copyedit the galleys once they came back from the print shop. We also wrote a column for each edition. All of that made for a lot of late night trips up that scary path from Pat’s house to mine.

This week on a local news broadcast a very young female reporter, someone in her twenties, was oohing and ahhing about a mama goose swimming in a local lake with her baby “ducklings.” I’m familiar with that old saying “if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, etc,” but these were NOT ducks they were geese—and baby geese are, unbeknownst to said reported, known as ‘goslings.” I was muttering about that under my breath, and not in a nice way, when I happened to remember that in Pat’s and my Thanksgiving column we wrote about a turkey being “born” as opposed to “hatched.” So put a plug in it, lady. You weren’t all that smart at that age, either!

The Copper Chronicle was published monthly. For the April issue that year, our April Fool’s column was written by Pudy and Jat. A little over a month later, we graduated from BHS with the class of 1962—sixty years ago almost to the day! How time flies!

And during all the years in between, with a pause or two along the way, Pat and I have remained in touch through good times and bad, despite the fact that we live in opposite corners of the country—with her in Florida and me in Washington State. A little over a year ago, Pat suffered a major stroke while coming back from running errands. She managed to get inside the house where she lay on the kitchen floor for almost twenty-four hours before she was finally able to drag herself into the bedroom and pull her landline phone off the night stand so she could summon help. She has since made a remarkable recovery. But driving a car is no longer in her wheelhouse.

So why am I writing this today? Because today is Pat McAdams Hall’s 78th birthday! Remember that song we learned to sing in Brownies?

Make new friends
But keep the old.
One is silver
And the other gold.

My friendship with Pat has been all gold all the time.

A couple of months ago, while talking on the phone, Pat brought me up short and mentioned that not only was she about to turn 78, so was I. During the Pandemic I evidently stopped counting and stayed marching in place at age 76 for two years in a row. So happy 78th, Jat, from your old friend Pudy.

And in case any of my Joanna Brady fans are interested, I used Pat’s house on Campbell Avenue as opposed to mine on Yuma Trail as the home where Joanna Brady grew up. (And just like that I ended that sentence with a preposition. Mrs. Riggins would not be pleased!)

62 thoughts on “Pudy and Jat

  1. What a delightful tale of a lasting friendship! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This was especially endearing and old friendships are the best. I thank you for sharing your walks
    Down memory lane. I bet Jat and Pudy will always maintain this special bond.

  3. Love the tribute to your friend…ironically my long time best friend judy and mine Pat.

  4. What a wonderful way to start the day with a story from my favorite author. I love the humor you put in all your writing. Today you took me back to wonderful memories I am grateful your friend Pat recovered from her stroke.

  5. Loved your article today. I have kept a lot of the friends I made in the first grade. Then in the third grade we moved & I met & kept the friends I made there. Walking to high school together, I started the walk; first to Beatrice’s house, then Babe’s, then Barbara’s, then Janets & met Joyce on the way. Alice lived further away she did not walk to school with us. Some of them graduated in 59 & some in 1960.
    We lost Barbara, then Janet, then Joyce, but have still kept in touch with Beatrice, Babe, & Alice. Also, still in touch with the friends I made in the first grade. You are right – they are my “Gold” Friends.

  6. My buddy, John Law, and I have been friends ever since the 5th grade in Edmonton.
    We now both live in Calgary. We have both raised families, done volunteer work together and just enjoyed a lifetime of sharing and friendship! And John’s friendship is truly Golden! We have shared a lot over all those years!

  7. Oh, Judy, this is one of my favorite posts! I love everything about it. Knowing you had such a close friend all through school is wonderful. Every bit of it reminds me of myself and my best friend, Sharon, who I met when I was in second grade and she a year older. We were rarely apart. Also, her house had nice hardwood floors with pretty throw rugs, but my house was total linoleum. (not sure of that spelling or if anyone else remembers what it is). The best part is that you are still friends even though you truly are at total opposite ends of the country. Sadly, my friend Sharon & I lost contact a few years ago and now she has passed away. Thanks for this blog, Judy. I can just see you & Pat all through your school years doing all the fun & silly things young girls do. I will be thinking of this all day long. Jat & Pudy and Janice & Sharon will running through my mind and I will be smiling all day!

  8. Loved your story about Pat and you. I also lived in (Snohomish) WA and all over (Phoenix area AZ). I have read all your books. Just finished your last one about JP. and was glad you brought him back.

  9. My BFF is also named Pat. She was the Maid of Honor at my wedding. I moved to California and then back to NJ, then to NC, and now back to NJ. She now lived in Hawaii and has for many years. She wants me to visit and I am not up to it for many reasons. It is nice to be able to ask her, do you remember…?
    Recently another friend who is in western Canada were talking about Rice Krispie Squares and she said neither she nor any of her friends ate Rice Krispie Squares. She grew up in California BTW. That had me thinking. I never had snacks at other people’s houses ever. If she had come to my house, there would have been lots of treats.

  10. How lucky both of you are to have such a wonderful history together. As someone who moved a lot of times, I did not have an opportunity to have a similar experience. But we do share one thing in common……we are all 78!

  11. I was preparing for a trial the next day when my neighbor asked me to sit her cat, Pudy. Pudy fell asleep on my lap while I reviewed critical documents. After a while, I got up and used the bathroom. When I returned, Exhibit A, the most important document was gone! I looked and I looked, and then I realized the proof was in the Pudy.///////Thanks for your story.

  12. It’s no wonder that you write such awesome books. Writing is something that’s been in your soul forever. So far, I’ve read 19 of your books. Never been disappointed. Unfortunately, for you, they have all been library books. By comparison, I have read 17 Nevada Barr books. The only author who surpasses your total is Clive Cussler. I’ve read 35 of his books. I feel very stingy. Do authors make any money when a book is borrowed from a library? You are a newer discovery of mine, so your total will continue to grow. PS: I turned 78 in April.

    • Authors are paid royalties on the books libraries buy. But the fact that libraries make books available to people who would not otherwise be able to have access to them. So don’t feel guilty. Libraries are one of the the great things about living in this country.

  13. It took me till the end of the blog to figure out that you’d spoonerized your names. It works pretty well!

    I’m glad Pat managed to recover as well as she did. Not getting help right away after a stroke often leads to very poor outcomes. She is either very lucky or a real fighter.

    The two of you have 10 years on me. 50th high school reunion coming up this summer.

    I was not the memorable one in our family. My kid sister and her buddies were the high-achieving mischief-makers. No wonder she was such a good teacher (recently retired); she was prepared for anything the kids could throw at her because she’d been there and done that. Do I recall from a prior blog that your friend Pat chose teaching as a career? I imagine she was on top of those kids, too.

  14. Each week, I think the blog is written just for me. I seem to identify in many ways with similar experiences. They carry me through the week with so many wonderful memories that have been resurrected from my past. They lift me from the tragedies and insecurities of today into the challenging yet wonderful days of growing up.

  15. Hi,

    I just thought that you might like to know that this year is actually Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, not Diamond.

    Kind regards

    • Thanks for that correction. I need to fire my copy-editor–who happens to be yours truly.

  16. I am 74 and looking at 75 coming quickly next fall. I too had a best friend growing up who lived just down the street. Her name is Rosemary and we became friends when I was in 4th grade and moved into the neighborhood. We remained friends through high school and while attending different colleges. We got married the same summer and were in each of the other’s wedding. Then came our first babies the same year. We continue to be friends to this day! Her friendship is a treasure to me. Long friendships are wonderful as we know the backgrounds that made us who we are.

  17. Always interesting to read anything you have penned…..be it blog email or book…..miss you being on tour especially coming to Cottonwood, Arizona….. yes its your “Northern Arizona Stalker”……greetings am doing ok still have some medical problems but at our age who doesn’t……so take care and hope is good with you family and dogs…..as always Dann

  18. I sure enjoy reading your posts. And thanks for Make New Friends what a wonder fun ditty to remind me now in my 90th year. appreciate it and if I was a good reader, which I am not, never have been, but a good listener I will try to find one of your books I can listen to very soon.

  19. What a wonderful story. My dearest friend from childhood, Mimi Madeleine Cobb Nugent lives in Florida, too. I’ve known her literally all my life — I’m told I was 6 months old when I “met” her and now we’re both 72/71. Her birthday is in May, mine in September. ?

    Keep up the wonderful story telling!! ?

  20. My younger sister has always called me Yudy Pudy. As the only two girls, with two brothers, we are closest to each other in terms of friendship, even though she is seven years younger than me.
    Her name is Suzanne, but we always called her Suzy all her life for over 55 years. However, a few years ago, she insisted that we all call her Suzanne. It is not only awkward but also feels so unnatural. I wish I had thought of a nick name to call her when she was growing up, then it wouldn’t be an issue.
    It was so good to see you in person last week and to meet your daughter. Thank you for your wonderful tribute to Ed.
    As I mentioned to you at the time, I love reading your blogs. This one brought back great memories of playing with paper dolls.

  21. I am new to your Blog and I am enjoying it very much. I also graduated in 1962.

  22. This is such a beautifully written post. I love that you have a friendship that’s older than me! It’s good for people to hear these stories, as we live in such a disposable culture. I still see and talk with a friend I’ve known since I was 8 years old, that’s only 46 years! I hope we someday celebrate our platinum jubilee as well. Thanks for writing and sharing this, I appreciate it very much!

  23. Especially precious to hum along to the Brownie song while reading the words: “Make new friends, but keep the old…”
    I was a Brownie Scout leader for my daughter’s troop, a very long time ago, probably, 1967, or so. Another favorite: “I know a place, where no one ever goes, there’s peace and quiet, there’s beauty and repose. It’s hidden in a valley, beside a mountain stream, there beside the stream, I feel that I can dream…”. Sweet memories.

  24. You are so blessed to have such a long friendship. God bless both of you on your 78th birthdays.

  25. I have a rattlesnake story to share.

    I lived in Sacramento for a while, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I had always heard that rattlers don’t survive above 5000 feet of altitude. I wanted to go hiking in the Sierras, but I drove up to just past 5000 feet to do it. And there, in the middle of the trail I took, was a rattler! Someone hadn’t given him the message!

  26. Hmm. I wonder if David Lucero and I are related. The Lucero family dates back several centuries in Spain and were pioneers in the New Mexico Territory.

    • I never realized how much my friendship with Diane Ham (Shovel)
      parallels yours and Pat’s. We met in second grade at Lincoln school, rode a bus to Lowell in 4th grade, 5th at Horace Mann, then both moved to San Jose area and again a bus to ride to kLowell. Our rides to HS varied, but we’re usually together.
      The four of us did Rainbow Girls and those journalism classes. I was advertising manager for the paper when you and Pat were editors.
      Over the last 60 years we have remained in touch with each other, sometimes near and others far. Our children were stairsteps and grew up pretty much together in Chandler. Those old friendships truly are gold. I guess you are a silver since we didn’t meet until high school, only 64 years knowing each other.
      I love reading all your books and especially the blogs as you often talk of Bisbee. No place on earth like it, then or now. Always, Twila

  27. Friends from our childhood are the best. I still have two that are hanging in there with me. We are all hitting the big 80 this year.

    But on another subject, sometime when you are wondering what to blog on, could you give us a hint of where you found “Twinkle Winkleman”? She has now become one of my favorite characters in a long list of your people.

    Great book.

  28. I have often thought of getting in touch with you and when you posted you had graduated high school in 1962 it pushed me over my hesitation. I have read so many of your books. I also have visited Bisbee as I have friends in Sierra Vista who take me to all the cool places and I also graduated in 1962 from Anacortes High School. It almost makes me fell like we are already friends. As with other folks you correspond with I am doing bird imitations (I watch him like a hawk) with my husband who has been ill with COPD for the last several years. Your blog is a bright spot in my life and I thank you for it and for the enjoyment of your books.

  29. I love this post about long standing friendships. How coincidental that I chatted on the phone with an ‘old’ friend, Linda, yesterday afternoon, for the first time in 37 years!
    Back in 1968 we found ourselves starting our first year of teaching math in the Highline School District in Seattle, in classrooms next door to each other. I knew few people in the area, having moved there from Michigan thanks to my husband’s Air Force assignment to a detachment serving at the Boeing Company, working on defense contracts. Linda had recently moved there from Montana. Going through all the various challenges together cemented our friendship and yesterday we picked up easily where we left off, in 1985 when we last saw each other.
    I am back living in my home state of Michigan and she now resides in Minnesota. We had lost touch for a while, but the magic of Facebook brought us back together.
    Our friendship is GOLD. In my golden years (turning 76 next month) I am incredibly grateful for these friendships.
    Thank you for sharing your gift of expressing life’s experiences and emotions in such a relatable way, in your books and in your blog.

  30. Congrats on 60 since HS – and those are golden friends. (And mine from an Air Force Dependent High School in Japan is one year hence, almost to the day. )

    I would posit a celestial note to my English teachers of yore, including my mother who is of the same ilk (and sadly also RIP): prepositional endings were incorrectly scorned. But ya no, “Up with such fecal matter I will not put” just doesn’t have the same punch. Nor does suggesting that another self-indulge in actions of improbable anatomical provenance. Emphasis and emotion are provided via deliberately incorrect grammar and form.

    Now, Pudy, let’s git Beau aworkin’ on a murder or two – maybe “Up across the Cascades” (nice title), in Okanogan in an orchard, but not apples.

    Thank you for the blog, the stories, and for describing places from my childhood in West Seattle and Pizza Haven delivery locales downtown, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and Magnolia Bluff, working my way through the UDub staying one step ahead of the law (actually a euphemism for the local selective service board.) But Beau never went to Terry Hall, probably because we were a bit lackluster and I had already joined the military for a 30-year career.

    Cheers, young lady.

  31. Your friendship choked me up. My “Pat” was Lorraine. We, too, have been “Besties” since grade school. Unfortunately, my Lorraine succumbed to a stroke after a botched “simple” medical procedure. We were going to share a room in the nursing home when that time came in our lives. She was my travel companion and so much more. We were the sisters that we didn’t have naturally, but we didn’t argue like siblings. We supported each other for 78 years. I recently made it to 80, but without her. It’s been rough but our memories help a lot. I’m so glad you still have your Pat. God Bless both of you.

  32. I have to confess, English in school was always my biggest challenge and the homework I did last. But, I have to say, I am driven nuts by the frequency of grammar errors in supposedly professional news articles. Either no one proof reads anymore or grammar is not a requirement in schools of journalism.

    • I share your frustration!

      Editing and proofreading are becoming lost arts in the face of staffing cuts. Yesterday our local paper misspelled the name of a neighboring town in a continuation headline. It appears that the bottom line is more important than earning the trust and respect of the readers. If we can’t depend on the newspaper to spell local names correctly, what else are they getting wrong?

          • No, Dave, there wrong and your right two. But one of them days there gonna due it write.

            What? It’s called fun with homonyms. For which I will be called anti-gay.

  33. What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing. I love reading about your life and anything Bisbee. Yes it’s so true. Old friends are gold. My best friend and I have know eachother since we were in 7th and 8th grade. That’s 55 years I wouldn’t trade for anything. She is my rock and my sister from another Mister,

  34. Dearest Pudy,
    Thank you for the wonderful birthday tribute to our longtime friendship. It brought back many sweet memories along with a few tears. Our friendship is a cherished gift for which I’m thankful every single day.
    I don’t know how you’ve put up with me all these years, but I’m pretty sure it’s that famous Busk girl tenacity!
    Don’t ever stop!
    Much love,
    P.S. My autocorrect isn’t happy either!

    • Happy belated birthday, my silver friend from long ago. I am so pleased that we have connected again through Pudy and her books and blog. Would love to see you if you weren’t so far away. Maybe someday.

  35. Happy Birthday to Pat and Here’s to long, long friendship!
    I had a vivid dream about Queen Elizabeth II last night–
    I was actually joking around with her, and learned that she painted as a hobby-

    It’s great to have the Coronation Paper Dolls as a treasure-

  36. Judy, love the back story of your friendship with Pat…reading this blog made me feel as if I was actually there with the both of you. Liked the poem, too, since I have friends in both categories – silver and gold.
    And, an FYI, I’m hosting a virtual 60th high school reunion with the Class of ’62 from St. Simon Stock HS in The Bronx, NY. We were a class of 99 and not too many of us are left. Hope we get a good response for some nostalgia and laughs. Take care!

    • Valerie, it is so like you to host a reunion, in any manner. I know your classmates will appreciate you and I hope you have a great turn out. Or turn in, tune in, whatever. Even with all you have going on right now, you make time for others. Bless you.

  37. Pat’s little brother, Ted, was in my class. Ted McAdams and Tom Adams caused some confusion among faculty, with me being Ted Adams and he being Tom McAdams, or vice versa at times. We also had Mrs. Riggins, and you are correct, she would prefer “up with which I put”?

  38. Enjoyed this! I just sent the poem to a dear old friend of mine with whom I’ve recently reconnected, as both our husbands passed after we both had been married to our spouses 50 plus years. We were neighbors and good friends for many years but both moved and kind of lost touch. Although the circumstances arent the best to reconnect, I’m really glad we’re once again in each other’s lives.

  39. What a wonderful story of friendship. I, too, have a friend like your Pat, and old friends are very precious and few.
    I love all your books, but JP Beaumont is my all time favorite. and I love how his character has evolved.
    Thank you for all your books and the many hours of entertainment!!

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