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The Slice

Close encounters of the Patty Duke kind

Here are a few readers' recollections of meeting the actress. (The Slice had solicited same back on her birthday. This is just a sampling of the reports.)

“I met Patty Duke when we went bowling,” wrote Lauren Hopkins. “Her feet are so small, she had to get children's bowling shoes. She is also very funny. She told us when her son was little, he wanted a brother. So they got a dog and named him Brother.”

“She took a donkey we had to find a home for,” wrote Bruce Werner.

“When she lived a few blocks from us in Coeur d'Alene's Fort Grounds, I would say 'Hi neighbor' as she walked past our house on the way to the park with her son,” wrote Tom Nash.

Lorrie McLaughlin met her at a benefit. “I walked up to Patty, she turned to me and immediately enveloped me in a bear hug. I thought, Wow — she's friendly! Then she said, 'Oh, I thought you were my cousin.' So…does that make me Cathy?”

Ron Bush encountered her at an event where she was signing copies of her book. He recalled that there were a zillion people there and the experience had turned into a marathon of sorts for the actress. “When it was our turn she acknowledged each of us including our 5-year-old grandson and signed the book with names and a pleasant inscription. It was a wonderful experience and justified my long admiration for Patty Duke.”

“I didn't officially meet Patty Duke, but I did wipe up her crumbs,” wrote school teacher Carol Nelson. “She was eating lunch with her son at Borah School, and I was the lunchroom aide. My daughters also went to Borah, and I worked there while I was finishing my degree. That was my first job with the school district.”

Nancy Haynes met her at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

Haynes' son, Travis, is now 26. But when he was 8, he had raised a 260-pound pig named Little Foot. It was his first 4-H animal, and the knowledge of livestock's fate was weighing on him.

Duke and her husband bought the pig and said they would keep it as a pet on their farm.

“I shall never forget their kindness, when they both came by the pen, shook our little boy's hand and assured him that Little Foot was not going to be eaten. They were so very gracious. They spent quite a while talking to Travis, complimenting him on what a fine pig he had raised.” 


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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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