PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Colleague’s sudden death pains so many

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

My feeble words cannot express the grief suffered this week throughout Journal-land at the sudden death of copydesk rock Judy Putt.
While others are likely to better reflect on Judy’s life and cheery personality, she was an incredibly valuable employee here and truly a kind and compassionate person.
She’d worked for the Journal virtually all her adult life and had a tremendous range of knowledge about her job, technically, and the importance of the task she was entrusted with – to visually build many pages you’ve read time and time again in the Daily Journal.
If anyone in this vast empire were ever the height of conscientious, it was Judy.
While her vast family and friends also deeply mourn her passing, we Journalites see the flowers on her desk and know she is someone who cannot be replaced.
It gives us all pause to be reminded that we, too, are leaves in the wind.
• • •
Humbling moments come in other less significant ways.
An interior paint job can bring many of us back to reality.
While I don’t claim the Betty Crocker Award, there are times when I get pretty pleased with what it takes to create household order.
Just to sit there, for that very small moment, and realize you’ve done a good day’s worth to put the ship aright – it’s a fleeting pleasure, but pleasure nonetheless.
While the grandpup is snoozing away in Uptown New Orleans these days, I never really felt satisfied that I’d gotten the house sufficiently in order while she was here, shaking her darling, long-eared head and sending the fur flying.
With some joy this past weekend I rolled up my sleeves for some improvements.
It wasn’t only that Bonnie was absent, but I’d engaged some nice painters to spruce up a bedroom and bath.
In preparation, I had my assignments: everything off the walls, window frames and baseboards.
What, you might ask, could I possibly have on my baseboards?
If my vacuum cleaner could talk, it would tell you: dirt, dust, dog hair pure and simple.
Since my robot-vaccuum’s battery died, I’ve had to depend upon myself to maintain floor order. But this baseboard thing has no solution except to get down there and do it yourself.
What a disturbing moment it was, too, to survey the archaeological remnants of the past several years. If the Dead Sea Scrolls hadn’t already been discovered in those desert caves, I’d swear I had a chance for them in downtown Tupelo.
Then came the window sills so conveniently isolated by the draperies. King Tut and the Great Pyramid didn’t get the attention forced upon me for this assignment.
And don’t forget about the tops of those door sills. How can so much dust accumulate there without a structural collapse?
Sure, I climb up twice a year to clean my ceiling fan blades. But I’ve never really bothered to check the door frames, until now.
Note to self: When it’s fan time, it’s frame time.
Now, the work is over and I can start to think about dragging my little garden tiller out of my walk-in closet.
I’m also thinking about that gorgeous pound cake I made for Judy Putt several weeks ago to prove it was the world’s most delicious.
Every time I make it again, I will think of her.

PATSY R. BRUMFIELD writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

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