Before sunrise, Judy Northcutt is up and on her feet. She fixes herself a cup of coffee; her husband Wayne joins her at the kitchen table, watching the news.
It's a 15-minute drive along winding roads to Bullard, where she has worked for 43 years. The Cynthiana-based company, which says it invented the hard hat in 1919, manufactures personal protective systems sold worldwide.
For eight hours a day, Judy, 64, cuts fabric and other material for safety equipment and clothing. She works alone but finds time to interact with co-workers, who have become dear friends."They're all good people. It's just like a family," says Judy, who often bestows nicknames – Weasel, Dolly, Bubba and, for her granddaughter, Butter.
She's been through a lot, happy and sad, in her four decades at the factory. “I've had two kids since I've been there and paid for a house . . . Then I lost my mom and dad and three brothers since I've been at Bullard." She says it's a good place to work. "They’ve been good to me.”
After her shift ends around 3 p.m., Judy heads home and helps her husband at his wild game slaughterhouse and processing business next to their home. The Northcutts cut up, grind, process and label deer meat for their customers.
Every Monday, Judy spends two hours cleaning Beaver Baptist Church, where she's been a lifelong member.
"We didn't have much when we were kids. I always knew I had to work just like I've done. Got married and bought a house. Raised my two kids here, bought animals and cows."
Wherever she goes – Walmart, the dentist, restaurants – Judy greets friends. Drivers passing her house beep their horns and wave. "I just like to talk to people . . . The way you meet people, when you grin and stuff . . . I don't see a stranger, I'll talk to anybody. I just like being around people. "
"Everybody tells me that and they say, 'Judy you know everybody in Harrison County.'" She says that's an exaggeration. But she's still making friends.
“Everybody asks me when are you going to retire . . . I don't know. I don't know if I could stay home because I like to be on the go, doing this and doing that.”