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Phil Judd with son Mike

November 25, 2015

Phil and Mike Judd about1960

Mike and I were eleven years old in 1960 when the Judd family drove hundreds of miles in their new station wagon to visit us in Missoula.  Mike has since told me that he has few pictures of his father, Phil, seen sitting at left above.  I have just this one.  Mike and I developed and printed this one in my basement.

Mike’s mom and mine were sisters.  They were Bonde girls from Kalispell.  Their brother, Carl R. Bonde, Jr.,  was killed in action in WW II, Christmas Eve, 1944.  I named this blog after him.

Mike’s father Phil was an aviator, or an expert on radar.  Something like that, I don’t know exactly what, but he worked in Alaska, in Anchorage.  I’m thinking the family bought the car in Seattle or Portland and were headed to Alaska that summer.

One of those days Phil drove all of us kids out to the U.S. Forest Service Smokejumper Center west of Missoula.  We nosed about the big room where they packed chutes.  The next thing we knew, Phil chatted amiably with some of the pilots there and we got a guided tour.  Phil and the big men all seemed to speak the same language.  Mike said his dad, who died a couple years later of heart disease, could engage just about anyone in conversation.  It was a gift.

This summer was the first time Mike, Carl, and I told each other sexually explicit jokes at night in the tent in the backyard.  We were all within two years of age of each other.  Sticks in my mind that I referred to a boy’s penis as a “dink,” but Carl, who was two years older and already an adolescent, called it a “dick.”  I don’t think Mike used either term.  He was the acknowledged “good kid.”  I recall wondering about that then, but not now.  How I giggled!  We boys knew dozens of jokes.  I am guessing eleven-year-olds still tell the same ones.  The ones we told mostly had to do with farmer’s daughters and traveling salesmen.  You know.

A couple days later, after running out of fourth of July firecrackers, Mike and I planned an early morning attack on a neighbor who had shouted at us for some transgression or other, probably minor.  Certainly not as serious as a broken window.  We probably popped firecrackers or peed on her shrubs.  You know, property crime.  Anyway, I thought we were alone when I whispered to Mike, “Let’s get some salt from the kitchen and put it on her lawn early tomorrow.”

A voice like God said, “You aren’t going to salt anybody’s lawn.”  Turned out it was Mike’s big brother David who had been listening and monitoring our suspicious behavior.

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