Gratitude, dining, and accordion and a clarinet | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 5/13/22

You may recall that last week I included in this column the Associated Press article about the woman who fell through the “hole” in the outhouse on the trail at the top of Mount Walker. …

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Gratitude, dining, and accordion and a clarinet | Life in Ludlow


You may recall that last week I included in this column the Associated Press article about the woman who fell through the “hole” in the outhouse on the trail at the top of Mount Walker. The story was included in another part of last week’s Leader, the Seattle Times, the Seattle TV news, and the national TV news.

Without wasting your time with the crappy details, it has become obvious it was an incredible human-interest story because we have feared something like that happening to us!

BJ and I were recently invited to a “Gratitude Gathering” at the Old Alcohol Plant in Port Hadlock. The event was sponsored by the Jefferson Community Foundation. We were involved with the organization a few years ago and it was appreciated that they had not forgotten us. The foundation has done wonderful work for several years in the area and it continues to grow and make a bigger difference in our community.

At the beginning of the pandemic the foundation took a leadership position in collecting funds and coordinating support activities in the area. I am told every cent that was collected was distributed to folks with food, rent, or other needs related to the pandemic. In addition, you may have heard about the work the group has done organizing and focusing help for the homeless folks in Jefferson County.

I initially suspected the event was supposed to show gratitude for those who have supported the foundation over the years, but it certainly should have been an opportunity for all of us to give gratitude for the foundation’s work!

Milt and Doris Lum were at the “Gratitude Gathering” and I spent the better part of an hour talking with them. Before the pandemic shut it down, they were the coordinators of the very popular “Dine and Discover” programs in Port Ludlow. The programs were almost always sold out with great potluck dinners and even better programs which included: a contestant in Alaska’s Iditarod, Port Townsend’s Jim Whittaker of Mount Everest fame and the daughter of Sequim’s Joe Rantz, the main character in Daniel James Brown’s book the “Boys in the Boat.”

These events included the entire community. Milt and Doris have asked to be replaced as coordinators but they assured me that someone else is stepping forward to continue the tradition.

Last Saturday evening was the latest performance arranged by the Port Ludlow Performing Arts and it was incredible. The musical duo was “Bridge and Wolak.”

Michael Bridge played his very unique digital accordion, which had an incredible array of musical capabilities played to perfection. Kornel Wolak was the other half of the duo and provided unparalleled expertise on the clarinet. They shared delightful renditions of Baroque and jazz music (hard for me to believe, too), and a humorous repartee providing substantial evidence of their mutual respect and deep friendship.

Frankly, it may have been one of the most unusual and enjoyable programs I have seen, and there have been some great ones in the past. I am told the concert was not sold out. Let’s not let that happen again in Port Ludlow!

Now for the more personal issues you occasionally see me write about regularly.

Yep, I gladly report that the Golden State Warriors won the first game of the next round of the NBA playoffs from the Memphis Grizzlies by only one point. What a game.

At this writing the Seattle Mariners broke a four-game losing streak and are currently holding a record of 12 wins and 10 losses.

In Sunday’s game the “hope for tomorrow,” Julio Rodriguez, hit the first home run of his major league career after the hitter before him was intentionally walked.

Our little poker group has either not played or I have not played with them the past several weeks. However, we did play last week.

Even though I was losing and was tired and ready to leave 30 minutes early, I hung in there and finished $9.00 ahead.

Interestingly my friend Steve Gross confessed to losing $9.

I “aced” the recent blood test which was required by my hip surgeon to proceed with the surgery on my hip. With some luck, I will have surgery on my hip within a week and you will only have to tolerate my rants about the pain whilst I recover!

My sincere thanks to all who have provided advice on canes, surgeons, post-surgery exercises and sympathy!

Love a curmudgeon and have a Happy Mother’s Day.

(Imbued with poker skills that only a mother could love, Ned is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. Contact him at