Winter’s passing days of football, fools and flags | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 2/17/22

Sports are the news items of the day. Well, except for that Ukraine thing. 

There are the predictable “feel-good” stories coming out of the Olympics currently highlighted, for me, …

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Winter’s passing days of football, fools and flags | Life in Ludlow

Posted

Sports are the news items of the day. Well, except for that Ukraine thing. 

There are the predictable “feel-good” stories coming out of the Olympics currently highlighted, for me, by the gold medals won by Lindsay Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner in the “Mixed Snowboard Cross.”

These two competitors were actually born in the same century as I, and probably you, that being the last century. Lindsay is 36 and Nick is 40, the total of their ages is less than mine alone for some perspective. Both of them have had little or bad luck in past Olympics but they pulled off a gold medal victory. 

Then there is the 15-year-old Russian woman figure skater, Kamila Valieva, who is experiencing a load of bad luck as the potent drugging program of her handlers is again being exposed. Unfortunately, the scandal currently surrounding her will always be part of her résumé. 

How about that Super Bowl? 

Luck seems to have played a big part this year, at least a healthy dose of bad luck for my Kansa City Chiefs. Wait now, they won the overtime coin toss against the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago. In previous playoff games going to overtime the team winning the coin toss won the game 10 out of 11 times. The lucky Chiefs were now destined to win the game having won the toss! 

Uh oh, bad luck. 

They threw an interception and lost the game. No Super Bowl this year. 

I was having breakfast at the Dusty Green Café wearing my Chiefs sweatshirt when my friend Sharon Sorenson walked by and reminded me that Kansas City did not make the game this year. I cried for an hour. The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Chiefs and went to the Super Bowl and lost to the LA Rams by three points. I kind of cheered for the Bengals because I grew up in Hudson, Ohio; Cincinnati is in Ohio and the Bengals quarterback is from Athens, Ohio not far from Hudson. 

Hudson was a small sleepy rural town of 1,500 or so folks and is now around 25,000. When I grew up there it was populated with families of dedicated citizens who mostly worked in Cleveland or Akron. 

In addition to my father working for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, my mother was a grade-school teacher in nearby Twinsburg. Frankly, it might have been the kind of place Trump fantasized about when he said he wanted to make America great again, until you got under the covers, (another story.) 

The past year Hudson seems to have had more than its share of self-imposed and well-earned ridicule provided by a couple of residents. You may remember a story from last Memorial Day when a member of the American Legion Auxiliary cut off a speech about local Memorial Day history while it was being delivered. It seems there may have been too much information about African Americans. 

Then last September the “ceremonial” mayor testified at a school board meeting about pornography in one of the high school’s books and demanded the resignation of the trustees. The Summit County prosecutor investigated and effectively told the mayor to sit down and shut up. 

Last week this same mayor warned the city council that allowing ice fishing on the local swimming lake could lead to ice fishing shanties, which could then lead to prostitution. My home town seems to have gone off the deep end and “hooked up” with the wrong guy for mayor. The story made the national news and a local restaurant has invented a new drink called the “shanty.”

BJ is in the AARP Tax Aide program again this year. Most of what she has been doing so far has been working the schedule at the Tri Area Community Center. You can call 360-565-5068 for help in Chimacum; 360-390-5250 for help in Port Townsend; and 360-316-1339 for help in Quilcene. The available times for help are filling up so BJ’s work will soon shift from scheduling to actually helping folks get their taxes done.

Many of you participate in the Flag Program organized by the East Jefferson Rotary Club, which is a fundraiser dedicated to funding scholarships for local students. This program has provided flags for five national holidays in the past, including next week’s Presidents’ Day. 

Past experience with inclement weather on that holiday that either threatens the safety of some of the folks who erect the flags or prohibits them from being erected at all led us to eliminate Presidents’ Day from our program. 

This year we will be putting them up on Memorial, Independence, Labor, and Veterans Day holidays to raise scholarship funds and provide this community service.

Don’t forget Daniel Boorstin’s observation that, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

Love a curmudgeon, happy Presidents’ Day and have a great week! 

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. Contact Ned at ned@ptleader.com, if you dare.)

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