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Interrogators, scholars and victors! | Life in Ludlow

Ned Light

Ned Light

It was the middle of the last century when a naïve young man, I, enrolled at that bastion of single-sex all-male higher education in Crawfordsville, Indiana known internationally as Wabash College.

I was assigned a faculty adviser named Karl-Heinz Planitz. As you might guess from his name, he was the head and only member of the German language department at Wabash.

My friend Barbara Berthiaume here in Port Ludlow advised me to read ‘Sons and Soldiers’, a book by Bruce Henderson. The book documents the development of an interrogation team of German POWs in the latter stages of World War II. These men were mostly drawn from the ranks of Jewish boys who had fled Nazi Germany to the United States as teenagers in the late 1930s. They had joined or were recently inducted into the US Army and were motivated to support the Allied mission to defeat the Nazis. Camp Ritchie in Maryland served as a training center for the 1,985 German-born “Ritchie Boys” who served as interrogators during the war.

One of Professor Planitz’s many life achievements was serving as chief translator for European languages ​​in the United States Surgeon General’s office, where his primary responsibility was interviewing German prisoners of war in the 1940s. I gained a new respect for him and for others who served the same function.

Unfortunately, one failure in his life was his failure to turn me into an eligible Phi Beta Kappa scholar. Some I knew, though. “Yes.”

Last week, I attended an updated presentation on the status of programs in the Chimacum School District in front of about 20 people at the Beach Club.

Superintendent Scott Mauk examined the demographics of the district and the resulting challenges faced by families, students and staff in the district. He followed it up with an inspiring description of the strategies and actions that address the solutions.

Over the years that BJ and I have lived here we have seen the successes and heard about the failures of the Chimacum schools. I have never heard any of the schools describe problems so convincingly with an attitude that will lead to better student outcomes than Scott. I’m optimistic that he will get the support of a lot more than the people at last week’s meeting.

Damn, with the motivation he gave me I could have done better than Professor Planitz!

Yes, there is an election regarding a “levy lid lift” for the Fire and EMS services. BJ and I have been lucky that we don’t need much help yet, but we know it’s coming.

Frankly, it’s not my age that worries me, it’s those damn side effects, and I’m sure I’m going to need those guys sooner or later. It’s strange to be the same age as the elders.

We went to the Beach Club to see a delightful performance of ‘Disorderly Conduct’ last Saturday night. They are a group of seven locals who have been providing improv comedy on a fairly erratic, but entertaining basis for the last few years.

As outlined in last week’s Leader, local Nancy Peterson is “Ham in Charge” and “Chief Goofball” as she’s been making fun of the group since its inception. For $10pp we got some real laughs and a free brownie on a cold and a bit snowy Port Ludlow eve.

Yes, my friends. The Kansas City Chiefs prevailed in the AFC championship game over the Cincinnati Bengals and are on their way to the Super Bowl.

Well, anyone who has seen the game knows that one of the Bengals players committed an unnecessary penalty and gave the Chiefs the opportunity to kick the game-winning field goal.

If only Professor Planitz had overlooked all my school penalties.

I love a curmudgeon and have a good week.

(Ned Luce is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. And as anyone who has watched the Cincinati-Kansas City game can attest, when push comes to shove, the Chiefs win! Contact Ned at [email protected].)

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