Let’s ‘Zoom’ back in for some recent history | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 4/20/22

For a number of reasons, it has recently been a challenge to create something for this column that even I would find interesting, let alone you. 

However, I did hit upon a theme I think I can …

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Let’s ‘Zoom’ back in for some recent history | Life in Ludlow

Posted

For a number of reasons, it has recently been a challenge to create something for this column that even I would find interesting, let alone you. 

However, I did hit upon a theme I think I can build from by looking back a hundred columns, or about two years. 

We all comment on the fact that the pandemic has changed life as we knew it. Two years ago, I wrote about the emerging elephant in almost every office becoming known as “Zoom.” The product became pervasive in business, volunteer organizations, and personal lives. 

One example of the profitable use of “Zoom” I found was as the CFO of the Printery. I spent time with the folks at the Business Guides in Port Townsend on “Zoom” learning about the various government support programs for small business. We availed ourselves of all the help we could find from the feds and the state and so far, the business has made it through while being able to retain our employees. Being in business has been a struggle during this period as evidenced by the empty shops in many places. 

BJ and I both are members of committees at the Ludlow Maintenance Commission, and have been subjected to even more of the Zoom-like culture as the meetings of the committees have become regular users of “Go to Meeting,” a different Zoom-like product. Microsoft also has a product our grandsons used in school.

Early in the pandemic before the shine wore off “Zooming,” we actually communicated with some old friends we had not seen in years. 

For some reason, all of a sudden, they and we felt compelled to socialize on a computer. 

Folks, after a couple of those sessions, the shine did wear off and we have not talked with them for 18 months. However, BJ renewed talking “in-person” with some old high school friends and her sisters. They now “Zoom” at least once per month. The technology brought them back together. 

We like to take walks around the neighborhood and greet the neighbors. Until recently, many of the conversations we had with folks were conducted across the street with masks on! 

Most of us don’t feel quite so constricted anymore but I doubt we or you will feel truly comfortable getting or receiving the full body hugs of the past. 

Two years ago, we started Friday evening cocktails in our garage. Please note that these get-togethers began in the spring and it was very easy to attend them outside; in the driveway if it was nice, in the garage if it wasn’t. 

Hosting was rotated among the attendees so no couple felt any burden. Like having folks bring their own drinks, treats, and chairs put much of a burden on the hosts. 

It was a great social outlet for those times. And, like so many things, it became “institutionalized” such that it went on every Friday evening for 18 months, even when it was cold, windy, and rainy and we moved into the garage with all of a garage’s decorations. Where was “Zoom” when I needed it?

So, we may have our lives under a little more control as the pandemic continues and we dip our toes further into the water of life. The Ludlow Maintenance Commission annual meeting is this coming Saturday at the Beach Club at 2 p.m. in person. It probably won’t be as much fun as in the past when it was associated with some wine and treats, but it is a “baby step” back into normal life. 

We will accept “Zoom” and related products as technology tools to be used when necessary. I suspect we will not use them to reestablish relationships with people we might have otherwise forgotten.    

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week. “Zoom it.”

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive who covers Port Ludlow like a gentle morning dew. Or, gentle morning dude. You decide. Contact Ned at ned@ptleader.com.)

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