Judy Patrick, 50, commercial and industrial photographer, Wasilla, Alasaka.
"Now if I want to see Sarah, I call her scheduler. But before the [2008 presidential] election, we were occasional shooting buddies at the Grouse Ridge shooting grounds. I even had a baby shower for her there. (She’d named the baby Piper, so airplanes was our theme.) We’d always invite her to the Alaska Ladies’ Charity Shotgun Classic.
"She’s fiercely competitive, a very good shot; she can focus intently on the target but then be all relaxed and chatty in between. She has one of those big grins—“I’m sort of pleased with myself”—and a shrug of the shoulders. Not gloating. One time we had a drawing for a gun, and the winner had to be present. They pulled Sarah’s number, but she had left early. I tried her cell, but I couldn’t reach her. Then they drew my name. The next time I saw her I thanked her—I’d won a Remington 11-87 semiautomatic. I told her she could use it anytime she wanted. She gave me a funny look, like “Darn it!” It’s my hunting gun to this day."
Originally published in the July/August 2009 issue of MORE. Read more more wild "What It’s Like" stories.