In Memory of Judy Cooksey, the Puppy Gal
I was working for GE at the time as an Advanced Architect. I was assigned a project to design and implement a retail credit system for a new client in Memphis. The first phase was to document their existing system which necessitated flying to Memphis and meeting with the client's technical staff. I arrived at the client's home office and was ushered into the Credit section. Across the room, I saw an attractive woman... She was carrying on at least 3 conversations with four people standing around her desk. I remember that she had on a blouse with a Jungle design. Obviously, she was attempting to camouflage her rather full bust. My gawking was interrupted by the manager of the section introducing herself. We went into her office and discussed the overall project design and implementation. When I requested introduction to the technical staff which I supposed would be in the data processing section, she replied that there was only one that knew the whole system and, of course, that was Judy -- the attractive woman I wanted to meet.
It was love at first sight! I was properly introduced and followed her into her office. She quick quizzed me on my knowledge of Retail Credit. I assured her that my experience with credit card systems and my three years working as a system designer for TRW (one of the big three credit companies) would be more than sufficient. She launched into describing their current credit card system with its faults and features. I sat in awe of her rattling over the complexities of figuring interest and then backing out transactions that may have been several months in arrears. I did not take notes which bothered her but I did ask technical nit picking questions to show that I understood. After our technical meeting, I excused myself to check into a nearby motel. Later I learned that she told her boss that she'd be lucky to get her system installed without sleeping with the developer (me). The women in the department all agreed that I was "smitten" with Judy and told her so. The afternoon consisted of reading the documentation on the old system.
At the end of the work day, Judy invited me to have drinks with her boss and her. The dingy bar (Bad Bob's Vapors) had good food, big drinks and a live dance band. So we bopped or jitterbugged the night away. Judy's boss had to leave to pick up her kids. The next few hours consisted of dancing and drinking and discussing Judy's situation. She had been hired to help her boss retain her position. Her home was in Jackson, Tennessee which was 80 miles away. She would drive home and spend the weekend with her husband. During the week, she would bunk at her boss' house. The routine became every other week, I would spend in Virginia and alternately spend time in Memphis. Judy was fascinating! She was beautiful and danced like crazy. At first, when we would go dancing, other men would ask to dance with her but more and more, I monopolized her time. She danced, I danced, she laughed, I laughed, she smoked, I smoked (rather awkwardly). The design phase of any computer system expends a lot of creative energy. More than once and especially if we were working past midnight, I would push for exacting perfection on some obscure algorithm and she would demand that I stop for the night and simply say, "You hard headed ass hole!"
One evening, about six weeks after our initial meeting, a problem, a complication, a dilemma, a conundrum arose.
The "Gypsy" -- Judy's boss' new boyfriend was spending the night with her boss. Judy refused to be in the same house as the Gypsy. She had planned to stay over night at a male friend's house but it turned out that he had 'company'. By the time she realized the situation, it was too late to drive to Jackson. So, I offered her my motel room: she could sleep in the big bed and I would sleep on the couch. I promised her that I wouldn't make any sexual overtures. ... and then ... We made love as only passionate soul mates do. From that night on, we spent as much time together as we could. We had adventures. We worked hard. We loved hard. Her rules were simple: don't lie and remember: "My middle name is Mrs. Bobbitt!" So we lived the Idyllic and passionate life for the next twenty-three years. She erased the vestiges of non-confrontation in me, and more importantly, she showed me how to avoid being alone.
Starting in year 2 of our "friendship" we bought a Pug dog pair, Charlie Chan and China Doll, and raised puppies. Then we migrated to English bulldogs. Judy had a love of dogs from the time she was learning to walk. Now, she wanted to raise bulldogs! In 1999, I gave her a birthday present -- a website named, "PuppyGal.com" -- which had a worldwide following. The early pages were advertising of our latest litters. Then, Judy started documenting some of the "How to" information. The postings of Emails, applications, and feedback from her wide audience evolved into her blog-like page: "Judy's Journal" which she maintained until her passing in February, 2010.
Judy loved her bulldogs and her rescued, "Porch dogs" and her puppies. As an homage to her, The Puppy Gal blog was created and English bulldog puppies will be placed by "The Puppy Gal".