Remembering Buddy Paugh

To the Editor,

The passing of my old friend Buddy Paugh last fall brought back a flood of memories.

One of the most vivid was a long time ago, but it seems like it was just yesterday. It took place in the spring of 1965. Coach Don Daubney loaded the Pawling Track Team into the Pawling High School bus for the trip to R.C. Ketchum High School for the county track meet. Buddy was an 880-meter runner on the team, and he was very good. Also on the team were stalwart Pawling boys Geoff Brown, Rudy Frommhold, George McDavitt, David Sample, Dale Furnia, George Gamache, Jimmy Gamache, Greg Sheridan, George Bussolt, Andy Herzing, Joe Kelly, Ron Russo, Charlie Murphy, Jimmy Van Keuren, and myself. Please forgive me if I’ve missed anyone.

The county meets always ended with the 880, the mile, the two mile, and the medley relay. It was an all-day event.

Haldane had a kid named Frank Basso. He was Buddy’s nemesis. Legend had it that Frank had never been beaten. I overheard Buddy’s father, Larry, giving Buddy advice shortly before the start of the race, “If you can pass him on the final turn, he will have nothing left.”

Buddy did just that, and true to his father’s advice, Frank Basso had nothing left.

The meet ended, and we piled on to the bus to head back to Pawling. On the ride home, Coach Daubney began congratulating the team for a job well done when Greg Sheridan came out with, “Let’s here it for Buddy Paugh, who beat the Machine!”

John Thomes,

Pawling, NY