Neighbor: Spiritual life

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2000

brings Judd from Oregon


Features Editor

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sept. 21, 2000 10 PM

"Why?" asked people from Oregon.

"Why?" asked people from Alabama.

The people from the Pacific Northwest couldn’t understand why one of their own would pull up roots and move to a place that wasn’t exactly Dogpatch, USA but it was certainly close by.

Folks from Alabama wondered why anyone would want to leave the mountainous river country of the "ducks" of Oregon to come to rural South Alabama.

But, the answer was simple for Colette Judd, the new director of human resources at Edge Regional Medical Center.

Coming to Troy was an opportunity for her to raise her daughter at a friendly pace and among people who place a high priority on family values and who have a deep and abiding faith in God.

"The people of the Pacific Northwest consider themselves to be politically correct and they are proud of it," Judd said. "Out there, we don’t have as many opportunities for a spiritual life and that is most important to me."

So, when Judd was offered the position at ERMC, although she knew very little about the South, she didn’t hesitate.

"I knew this would be a great adventure for me and for Kayla," Judd said. "What I knew about Alabama was the stereotype we get, primarily from television and the news media. But, I attended a convention in Atlanta in April and then came to Troy to visit a friend who had tried to coax me here and I was pleasantly surprised."

Although Pike County didn’t offer the spectacular mountain views or the rolling rivers or the rugged coastline of Oregon, its lure was much stronger.

"The community was just the right size, the climate was good and the people were very friendly everywhere I went," Judd said. "And, I guess the biggest reason was that people were so open about their relationship with God. Troy was healthy in all ways and I decided this is where I want to live and where I want my daughter to grow up."

And, that Pike County is not a bad location figured into the equation also. It’s not far from the mountains; it’s surrounded by city life and it’s close to the Gulf.

"Kayla and I are looking forward to going to the Gulf and walking on the beautiful beaches and swimming in the water," Judd said. "In Oregon we don’t have white sand and you can’t swim in the ocean.We want to do those things here."

Being in Alabama is an exciting adventure for Judd and her 5-year-old daughter. And, it was an adventure just getting here.

"We drove here from Oregon and it took us a week but it was smooth sailing all the way," Judd said. "I always chose a motel with a swimming pool. That was a bribe to Kayla for good behavior. We both enjoyed the trip and got to see a lot of interesting things. The trip was an adventure and so is being here. We saw cardinals in our front yard the other day and that was exciting for us. In Oregon, we don’t have colorful birds like that. A blue jay is about as good as it gets."

Judd has been "on the job" at ERMC for a month and has enjoyed every minute of it. She has worked in some type of hospital position for about 19 years and she said she is very comfortable in the position of director of human resources at Edge.

Her duties include being responsible for locating candidates for new positions, conducting interviews and employee training.

When she’s off the clock, Judd enjoys outdoor activities and music.

"Every weekend Kayla and I go somewhere," Judd said. "Last weekend, we went to a Blues Festival and we really enjoyed it. I want to give her the benefit of those kinds of experiences every chance we get. Kayla is enrolled at the kindergarten at Troy Elementary School and she loves it. We are looking forward to being a part of the community. Troy and Pike County are just the right fit for us."