Here’s a question: can two people be a triple threat? If you answered no, you have yet to meet October’s Volunteers of the Month, Patricia Getty and Jerry Naeve. Since joining PATC in 2011, Patricia and Jerry have worked on the Cabins and Sales desks at headquarters and been loyal North District Hoodlums in Shenandoah National Park.
Patricia grew up in Idaho where she went on her first camping trip at the age of 6 months. After graduating from Idaho State, she traveled around the world as a military wife, pursuing a career first as a math teacher at the junior high, high school and college levels, then moving into substance abuse prevention and treatment. After earning her doctorate and moving to the DC area, Patricia served 16 years as Division Director of Substance Abuse Prevention at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Jerry originally hailed from Colorado where he spent a lot of time hiking and fishing before his family moved to Alaska during his high school years. After graduating from the University of Colorado, Jerry joined the Navy, serving 23 years, including eight at the Pentagon, before trading his uniform for a suit and working two decades as a contractor.
Like so many PATC members, Patricia’s and Jerry’s love of the outdoors inspired them to give something back, so when they discovered PATC in 2011 they joined up with the Hoodlums, working with trail maintenance crews in the North District of the Shenandoah. Jerry became a pro on water bars and check dams. Patricia favors the McCloud. Over the years, they have built many a waterbar and checkdam and as testimony to their skill, all of them are still doing their jobs.
Jerry first started working the Cabin desk and Patricia the Sales desk in 2013. Within a year, they had taken over Tuesday nights and kept at it once the club went to all daytime hours. If you stop by the office between 11:30 and 1:30 on Tuesdays, you will normally find them hard at work answering phones, selling PATC items, fielding questions about cabins and preparing cabin key packets. Patricia double-checks Jerry’s work and also helps process Cabin Condition Reports sent by renters to alert Cabin Overseers of any issues.
Jerry and Patricia go out of their way to help customers. They follow up with Cabin Coordinator, Anne Corwith, after their shift to make sure there are no outstanding issues, and typically drop mail off at the Post Office to make sure it is in the mail the same day. Nor have they limited themselves to PATC. In 2015 they volunteered to help at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial Conference in Winchester, Va.
About the only time you will not find them on the job on Tuesdays is when they are on the road. If you want to know how to get to Moab, Utah or the name of a good outfitter to raft in the Grand Canyon, ask Patricia or Jerry. In retirement they have expanded their horizons beyond the East Coast and have rafted in Idaho, Utah and Arizona, kayaked and camped in the Everglades and in the Baja Sea of Cortez, snowshoed in Wyoming and Utah and snowmobiled in Yellowstone. They still, however, especially like the trails along the AT, encouraging others to find themselves in the great outdoors. Once a Hoodlum, always a Hoodlum!
—Submitted by Wayne Limberg, SoT