MDP: My Dear Pal, Chuck
Chuck Doud was a unique creature. I can honestly say that I have never known anyone like him, and I seriously doubt I will ever again know anyone with the attributes and quirks of Chuck Doud. He was funny; he was caring and kind. He loved people and this community of Madera. He was strong and tough in ways no one else I know could be.
One of the best ways to describe Chuck is to say that he became a friend to everyone. I have personal knowledge about how this worked for him. He became a very close friend to me, and no matter what I ever do (or did), I could never shake that friendship. He got under my skin like no other person I have ever known.
I met Chuck more than 10 years ago, which is not nearly as long as many of the people in Madera have known him. We were both members of Madera United Methodist Church. In fact, I joined that church on the same day as Chuck and Annette Doud. We attended the Membership Class together, and then we all stood before the other members of the church to profess our faith and make a commitment to support the church through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.
Chuck and I served on several church committees, as well as our work together as worship leaders. He and I served on the Finance Committee together for nine years. It was on that committee that he apparently got the idea we could work together outside the church.
In 2016, Chuck made an appointment with me at the accounting office in Chowchilla where I worked as a CPA. He brought with him some financial information, and he wanted me to do some analysis work for him. I remember that day well. I told him I would soon be retiring. It was time. The job was stressful, and I was ready for a life of much more flexibility.
“No,” he said, “You don’t want to retire!”
“Yes,” I said. “I DO want to retire.”
Needless to say, I lost that contest. He talked me into coming to work at the Madera Tribune, and it has been quite a ride. He treated me as a partner, and from that day a close bond formed. This bond, I know, will carry us into eternity.
In the beginning of this close friendship and partnership, he would sign his emails and texts to me as “Yer Pal,” which I think he did with many of his friends. Since I call everyone “Dear,” I would sign, “Your Dear Pal,” and would greet him with “My Dear Pal.” This morphed into “YDP” and “MDP.” These little acronyms became our usual greetings and send-offs, and was characteristic of our close friendship.
I soon grew to love the Madera Tribune as he did. He referred to the staff as “the kids,” because he was somewhat like a father to them. He loved them all, and he was always proud of them. They loved him, too, and wanted always to please him.
If Chuck could read this now, he would know that the family of folks at The Madera Tribune want to keep his dream alive for this community. He has entrusted me to do what he wanted for this little community newspaper, and that I will do.
Farewell, Chuck Doud. Your handprint is permanently on my heart and the heart of Madera. I will go down with the ship, knowing it is what would have made you smile,
Chuck, the family of the Madera Tribune will always love you, and we are here, “Business as usual,” and will be here until we are pried away from this place, kicking and screaming. We will never replace you in our hearts.
With much love,
— Nancy, Tyler, Wendy, Ben, Chris, Shirley, Patrick, Juan, Leonard, Carlos, Katrina, Corrie, Christy, Leslie, DJ, Bill, Tami Jo, and Nugesse.