The story goes that Mayor Bob Isaacs was walking up Tejon Street to the El Paso Club when he turned to his companions and said, “who’s responsible for all this damn art?” He was referring to pieces from the “Art on the Streets” program started by Judy Noyes.
Long before Judy became an accomplished civic leader and business woman, who, like many women of her era, juggled child-rearing, housework and volunteering, Judy was a busy, self-motivated little girl. Her loving but strict mother had Judy potty trained before two, speaking complete sentences (never baby talk) and joyfully picking out words in books. At four, she was reading. She loved the Maida series, Pollyanna, and Honey Bunch and Norman.
When the family, with new baby sister Stephanie, moved to tiny Jacksonville Beach, Judy was teased for being a Northerner. She threw herself into school studies, read long novels like The Wind in the Willows and Gone With the Wind, and spent many happy hours playing dollhouse with her mother who had saved her own dollhouse furniture, made in the 1800s for furniture salesman to show their wares.
At 14 years old, she was chosen to be the Ocean Beach Reporter for the Jacksonville Weekly paper, writing a weekly column about school news and awards. This led to a paid part-time job at the local radio station, reporting news from Fletcher High and the community at large. On one show she interviewed the Governor at the mansion. On Easter Sunday of her senior year, Judy gave the Methodist Sunrise Sunday Sermon. While a sought out dance partner at high school proms, Judy did not have many girlfriends. She enjoyed long talks with her mentor, Principal Dodgett, whom she considered her best friend, and who helped her apply to Vassar College, where she really felt at home. Years later, a lapsed Methodist/young Democrat Judy wrote the lighthearted annual newsletter for The Chinook, “Currents from the Chinook.” and had her yearly children’s book reviews published in the New York Times. She never stopped her voracious reading or vigorous civic involvement during the rest of her life in her beloved 45 year home, the City of Colorado Springs. Her three children, all read to from birth, grew to love children and books, but none were born and trained into such determined and joyous civil leadership. Nature or Nurture? I think both.
Generously Submitted by Cate Noyes Boddington