Judy’s Birthday

Today is Judy’s birthday. Judy was my older sister, whose loss still grieves me.

I am the oldest and smallest (6′, 215) of three brothers. Growing up, Judy ran us with an iron hand, but by college we became more collegial, and after her divorce, we came to be great friends. We’d talk about movies and music, books and travels, and the latest doings of her Boston Terrorist, Rocket.

My father could whistle between his teeth, a sound that could cut steel plate. Of the 4 of us, only Judy ever approached that sound, a skill she found handy in advancing her career. She worked for the phone company, when there was only one. She determined to crach the glass ceiling, going to pole-climbing school, learning the installation business. Assigned as the first woman manager for Hunter’s Point in San Francisco, she walked into her first meeting with her men (this was the late 60’s) to find them smoking,, talking, feet up on the table, paying no attention to her. She marched to the front of the room, turned to face them and cut loose her whistle. They all sat up like dogs, and Judy had established herself.

Judy died March 16, 2017 after a short illness. I still find myself thinking, when I see a movie, or read a book, “I have to remember to tell Judy about…” I need a place to put those things, so I guess this will have to do.

So we’ll raise a glass to Judy under the cherry tree.


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