Yesterday, Judy posted the last of 365 days of gratitude and joy. It’s been a wild ride and she breathed a visible sigh of relief as she pressed “post” on the final installment. As a postscript, please indulge me for a few minutes as I brag about your humble scribe.
Judy started The World A to Z blog in 2012, but she has been writing about her adventures since she started seeing the world “from A to Z” in 2002. The Associated Press ran a story about her quest in 2005. It was picked up worldwide … even here in Arizona. But Judy’s journalistic accomplishments go far beyond that.
She began her broadcasting career in the Air Force, first as a radio DJ and sports reporter for the American Forces Network (AFN) in Thule, Greenland. Then she was transferred to San Vito, Italy, where she was a news anchor on AFN’s TV station there.
To my mind, she became truly famous when she hosted a TV talk show called “Gasthaus” at AFN Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, and produced and hosted a travel-oriented show for AFN called “Passport.” That’s because recently, someone shared one of those productions on YouTube, and I got to see my wife in action. This is the first thing that has risen from the nearly 40-year-old archives that she is truly proud of. The joy on her face as she and I watched is something I will remember always.
When Judy left the Air Force, she ultimately ended up as a news anchor at a radio station in Virginia, before landing a plum assignment with AP’s broadcast division … an assignment she earned by covering the aftermath of one of the infamous DC Sniper shootings as a stringer. Being at the right place at the right time certainly helped, but so did her ability to get the story before anyone else did. At AP, she worked overnights, covering world-changing events like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and interviewing world leaders like President George H.W. Bush.
When working nights came to be too much, she joined the General Services Administration as a public affairs officer. I joined that organization five months later as a senior speechwriter. We instantly hit it off as we bounced idea after idea off each other. She blossomed at GSA, building its first-ever TV department, producing a series of news videos that changed the way the world looks at one of the most unknown government agencies. As for us, colleagues became friends, friends became, well … the rest you already know.
Retirement wasn’t easy for this born writer and broadcaster, because she oozes creative talent. This blog is an outlet for that talent, and she beams every time one of you – her readers – recognizes her on the street. She’s also writing for a local magazine, and continues to work on several book projects.
I am truly proud of the talent and dedication Judy brought to this blog every day. I’m glad I got to fill-in from time-to-time, but it was only to help nurture HER baby (I had fun, too).
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. That’s a tagline she wrote, and it’s a goal worth achieving. So was writing about gratitude and joy for a full year – may the happiness never end.
© The World A to Z, LLC 2022 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.