I first met Patty Bradshaw in 1994, back when I lived in Delaware. We were drawn together by a mutual interest in Star Trek, and since I had been taping episodes of ST:TNG right from its beginning, we would get together from time to time to watch them. I got to meet her mother, her brother, and her cocker spaniel Crystal, and we became good friends. We stayed friends when I moved to Rhode Island at the beginning of 1997. I was there when she married her husband Billy, and she was there when I married my wife Kerry.
Patty was one of the sweetest, kindest, most good-natured people I've ever known, and even though she had to face more than her fair share of tragedy, she never lost her sunny outlook. When she found a stray cat living in a barn near her home in Middletown, she adopted it and took it home. The cat had a litter of kittens, and when she offered me one, I of course accepted. We met at a rest stop in northern New Jersey, where she handed over the kitten, and I took it home with me. That kitten, now aged 11, is still with us.
The last time I met Patty was in the summer of 2002. I had been layed off, and I took advantage of the free time to travel to Delaware to visit with my family and friends. It was a stormy summer day as I drove down to Middletown, and the rain was still falling when I drove up to Patty and Billy's house. While it rained out, we brought each other up to date on our lives, she showed me around the house, and I got to meet her newest cats and cocker spaniel. Then the rain stopped, and Patty and I took a walk through the streets near her house, with the sky still cloudy and the air still damp, circling the block until we were back at her house. Then we hugged each other and said goodbye, and I drove away.