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1938 Joyce 2024

Joyce Hufcut Harrison

March 27, 1938 — January 25, 2024

JOYCE

My dear friend Joyce Hufcut, born March 27, 1938 and died just two months before her 86th birthday on January 25, 2024 at 4:45 pm. In between those two dates, she had quite a remarkable life.

I got to know Joyce through 4-H. We were in the same grade throughout grade and high school, but she was a farm girl and I was a townie. When l joined 4-H, Joycie's mother was the adult leader of the Eager Beavers 4-H club. We were ten years old. Many times, Mrs. Hufcut would have me and other club members over to her house to work on our sewing projects. I would ride my bike out to their farm. Their huge dining room had at least four sewing machines in it. We would all be working there together. Sometimes Joyce's sisters, Shirley and Lois would also help us younger kids.

Joyce told me that the three sisters would have to go out to the barn before school to milk the cows. They would tightly wrap four or five scarves around their heads so they wouldn't smell like the cow barn when they arrived at school.

I remember some of the fun times we had when we took breaks from sewing. Two times stand out in my mind. They had a horse, a huge horse. Joycie would get up on that horse, bareback and pull me up behind her. I clung on for dear life but as that horse galloped along, I couldn't stay upright and kept sliding off to the right or left. “Joycie, I am going to fall off!", I’d scream and then boom! I’d hit the dirt. No problem, I would be pulled on up again and soon, again, Boom! I would fall off. We laughed and tried again. We were determined and never thought about the possibility of me breaking some part of my body. Joyce was strong and determined and could ride bareback beautifully.

Another time it snowed, and Joycie got out some skis. These old skis somehow hooked on to regular rubber boots. I don't remember even having ski poles. Neither of us really knew how to ski. We just started climbing straight up the hill. Before you know it, the skis took us backward down the hill. We didn't know enough to turn sideways as we were ascending. Another cause for great laughter.

When we were Juniors, we attended the Junior Prom. We both were elected to be in the class court. Neither of us was elected to be queen but we were attendants and that was quite an honor. Joyce's classmates elected her because she was popular and pretty. She wore a beautiful gown to the prom that she had made. I can remember it to this day. It had layer upon layer of netting, some green and some blue. As she moved or danced, the shading would change the color tones. She designed that gown. Joycie was clever, creative and had skillful hands.

That gown won her blue ribbons and the opportunity to model it at The NYS Fair. We both attended that year and so did Joycie's Uncle Sherrill. He was an Allis-Chalmers farm tractor salesman and was at the Fair to sell them. He invited us out to dinner in Syracuse. I had my first shrimp cocktail; perhaps it was Joyce's first, too. We did have such a good, memorable time.

Another time, we both won a 4-H trip to NYC. One of the last places we were taken was an authentic Chinese restaurant where this very large group of kids was treated to course after delicious course of food. Finally, I said to Joycie, “I can't eat another thing!” She said, “Frannie, you must taste this. It is really delicious!" I tried a bite and it was; she was right. Joycie with her glowing pink apple cheeks. She was very persuasive.

When Joyce married, I would go to visit her in Tivoli. We'd visit the chicken coop. We'd walk down to the train tracks and the Hudson River. We'd sit in her kitchen. I remember that she had a clock on every wall. She said that when she wanted to know what time it was, all she had to do was look up! Joyce was very practical! She also took me to her friend's house who lived on Spring Lake. We went swimming in the lake. You could feel the cold springs pushing up in various spots in the otherwise warm water. It was a unique experience!

When Joycie moved to the home she bought in Kerhonkson, I visited her there several times even staying overnight. She loved owning that little peninsula with the water flowing on all three sides of her property. She set up a corner women-cave where she could sit with everything she needed at hand. She could knit and crochet to her heart's content. She even created a two-sided crochet hook which suited a need. She had four rocking chairs set up in front of long wide windows so that she and several friends or family could enjoy the view outside in comfort.

Once, I picked Joyce up and drove to New Jersey to attend our friend, Evelyn's wake and funeral. Evelyn, another classmate, 4-Her and friend had lived in Thompson Ridge, near the Hufcut farm and then in Poughkeepsie, again near Joyce and eventually New Jersey. They were good friends. Evelyn was missed.

This is the Joyce I remember. She was a hard worker. She was capable. She was innovative. She was cheerful. I dare say she was jolly, always with those round, rosy cheeks. I will think of her; remember her, and love will warm my heart.

Sincerely,

Frances Giruzzi

February, 2024


Submitted by Gregory Harrison

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