The Tardy Times

 It's a grand, great year for babies
 and for the rest of the scattered clan

NOTES on baby Elliott Ludlow, daughter of Jenna Ludlow; Chris Ludlow; Conrad and Joy Ludlow; George Martin with baby Cassens (son of Michelle Cassens and Gwyllim Martin; Luther Martin and Avital Shenkamin; Lulu Martin; Lora Wakefield with Barbara Martin; Roger and Carol Ludlow with baby Skylar (daughter of Jessica Murawski and Tristan Ludlow) and with baby Wyatt (daughter of Chandra Ludlow and Rick Babcock); Judith Peck, Steve Coleman, Jim and Marilyn Wallace. And congratulations to Lauren Ludlow (at right), daughter of Karen LeLacheur and Chris Ludlow, who received her high school diploma in June in Salt Lake City.

                   More family news: See  Ludlow Kinfolk (Page 2)

Great News
T WAS GREAT when Elliott Ludlow, who arrived just before Christmas, was promptly applauded as a great little baby.       
   How could it be otherwise in a great family where wordplay is greater than, say, weight at birth?
    Elliott is Lynn's first great-grandchild.
    Born in Salt Lake City on Dec. 17, 2007, Elliott is the first child of Luis Enrique Lombardo and Jenna Lynn Ludlow. She is the older daughter of Chris Ludlow and his ex-wife, Karen LeLacheur.
   Oh, and Elliott is a girl.
   “WHAT?” said Kenny.
    Kenny is a great girl and now, at 17, a great aunt. 
   “That’s crazy,” she said. “Elliott is a boy's name.”
   Her mother said, “Look who's talking?"
    “What’s so crazy?” the great-grandpa asked Kenny.
   “What about a great name like, er, ‘Lynn'?”
Chris changes careers; hopes
to teach history

CHRIS LUDLOW finally acted on his growing unhappiness with life as a car salesman. He quit his job last December at Infiniti of Thousand Oaks and, at the age of 48, decided to go back to college to complete his bachelor's degree. His goal is a master's degree with a teaching credential. He wants to teach history. He would need about two years to get the master's degree and become, past 50, a rookie professor.
  With three years of credits at the University of Hawaii and an Oahu community college, he figured it would take a year or two to get the BA at the new California State University at Channel Islands. He needs to be close to Cade, who lives with his mother, Jen, in Calabasas. His son began high school in August.
NOT SO FAST. Mathphobia. It's an unfortunate legacy of his father's flawed DNA, the same irrational fear that almost derailed the academic career of his sister Amy. At the U. of Hawaii, Chris took a class in logical thinking that satisfied its math requirement. And on a practical level, he has been dealing with figures for years in a world of money where it, not to pun, counts.
   Not good enough, he was told when he applied at CSU Channel Islands. In the Southern California tradition of fanciful names for real estate, the school is a long swim to the Channel Islands which, as in the song, are 26 miles across the sea. On a clear day, students can glimpse them. The campus was converted  from wards vacated by the closing of the old Camarillo state insane asylum.
    Chris was told he would need 26 miles of remedial algebra before he could be admitted to the college. It offers further evidence that higher learning is linked to various forms of madness. Unfortunately, unbreakable math requirements are just as nutty at all the CSU and UC branches. Chris is trying to sign up for a spring class in freshman math, but he is discouraged because his work schedule changes from week to week (he's an assistant manager at a computer game store). In the meantime, Cade has begun high school.
The dread winds
WHEN HE wrapped up his two-month “incredible journey” to the breaking waves of San Sebastian in the Galapagos Islands, Wellyn sent an email from Quito that suggested he may try to shift into Llewellyn J. Ludlow, Mr. Normal Guy.
   “All kidding aside, the lazy days of relaxing, surfing, eating out every night, drinking and basically sitting on my ass are now to be replaced by work, stress, emotional turmoil – and more work.”
   He returned to Bolinas and his girlfriend of seven years, the exuberant Rose Leilani Camarillo. Surfing injuries are catching up with him. He needs a hip replacement. And besides, what he calls “the dread winds” have flattened the breakers all along the coast. It gives the self-taught artist time to paint – and think. He turned 43 in January. 
  “It feels weird,” he wrote. “When I was Kenny's age, I thought of that age as being, well, old. Am I any wiser?
   The older but wiser surfaholic held his first-ever gallery show at the Live Water Surf Shop in Stinson Beach.  He sold three or four. But a few days after the show, a wealthy Bolinas woman told him that one of his paintings reminded her of the beaches of Hawai'i. She asked,  “How much?” He answered, “It's $2,500.” She didn't haggle. She wrote a check and left him thinking, “Should I have asked for $3,500?”
Grand pas
HE COULD have retired  years ago, but Prof. Conrad R. Ludlow is finally planning at age 73 to erase his face from the barre room floor.
   A few weeks ago, Conrad  signed his retirement papers at the University of Utah.  And by next June he'll never again be compelled to criticize a shaky pirouette.
   A year ago, the audience 
in the Marriott Center for Dance included Chris Ludlow's ex-wife, Karen LaLecheur;  their daughters Jenna and Lauren Ludlow, and their happy grandfather. He was seeing choreography by his brother for the first time in many years. 
    In the Utah Ballet program, “Grand Pas” (Minkus) and “Valse” (Glinka) were set to recordings of classical composers.  “Farewell to Whisky” (like the other ballets, a revival) is one of the few (if any) bluegrass ballets. It’s set to the sounds of the Scruggs-style banjo, mandolin and flat-picking guitar by a group called the Canterbury Country Musicians.
   Conrad's willingness to try different forms of music was encouraged by his boss at the New York City Ballet. Ask Netflix or the library for the PBS special on George Balanchine, who tried everything from Gershwin to Sousa. And look for a much younger Conrad with Allegra Kent in a pas de deux from “Symphony in C”  and with her again, elegantly twirling,  in “Liebeslieder-Waltzer.” 
A YEAR after we saw his students in Utah, Conrad journeyed to San Francisco to join in the 75th birthday party of the San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House. In a panel discussion on the changes in ballet over the years, he represented the 1950s – the decade where he rose from ballet school to principal dancer when Lew Christensen directed the company.  After wearing a khaki costume in the U.S. Army in Korea, he joined the New York City Ballet. He leapt from the corps to soloist to 20 years as a principal dancer, touring the nation and the world. When he left the company, he spent the next 30 years as a choreographer and teacher, beginning as director of ballet companies in Oklahoma City and Mill Valley, then joining the faculty at Utah.
   Conrad’s patient wife, the former Joy Feldman, is also a ballet teacher. They met when  both were dancers in the NYCB.  For many years, the urbane woman from New York City complained that Salt Lake City was too remote, too Mormon and too Republican, but they bought a new townhouse in 2006. After all those years, they began to settle down and gaze appreciatively at the snowy peaks of the Wasatch Range. Besides, they finally figured out Brigham Young’s  street grid.
   As for Conrad, he now roots for the oxymoronic Utah Jazz instead of the Golden State Warriors. He wants his millionaires to defeat our millionaires.

Person George Balanchine
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Grandpa George with Cassens

THEY WAITED and waited and waited. And waited some more. But for George and Barbara Martin, it was worth the wait. Last Dec. 14, they celebrated the first birthday of their first grandchild, Cassens Jameson Martin.
     “Celebrated” is probably insufficient as a verb to convey their joy. Oh, by the way, it's entirely possible that little Cassens brought even more joy to his proud mom, Michelle, who gave her surname to her son, and his dad, Gwillym Martin.  And now George's mother, Lulu, can enjoy at age 95 her new status as a great-grandmother (she's doing great, still living by herself in Crockett).
BABY CASSENS took center stage at a family gathering in January in the new home of his uncle and aunt, Luther Martin and his wife, Avital Shenkamin. They moved last year to a spectacular home on the upper west side of Point Richmond. It comes with panoramic vistas of the Richmond-San Rafael, Golden Gate and Bay bridges.   
    Barbara’s sister, Lora Wakefield,  had arrived during the holidays from her home back in Peoria to visit her sisters – Barbara in Point Richmond, Eleanor in San Jose and Linda in San Francisco. With the death of their brother Bob, Lora is the last link of her immediate family to the Williamsons and Wakefields of east-central Illinois. When she returned, the wind-chill factor was 10 degrees below zero and nobody was singing the old vaudeville song, “Oh how I wish I was in Pe-OR-i-a…”
    (There's still time, Lora, to leave behind the winter snow, summer heat and springtime tornados, like the 1960 twister that eradicated your Uncle Dem’s farmstead.)  

Skylar Rischa June Ludlow

Skylar and Wyatt

THE BIG NEWS from the Roger Ludlow clan is the birth of his first grandchild, Skylar Rischa June Ludlow, on March 13, 2007, to his son Tristan and his wife, Jessica Murawski.  
  His second grandchild, Wyatt Babcock, arrived at the end of August 2008, clutched in the happy arms of his daughter, Chandra.
Roger and his wife, Carol, had attended Chandra's wedding on June 16, 2007, to Rick Babcock.  

Chandra and Wyatt

      In other news, Roger and Carol express immense satisfaction in their second home in Montana’s scenic Bitterroot Valley. They can fish for trout in the Bitterroot River, which borders their back yard. No close neighbors. It's near Darby, a few miles south of his mother's final resting place near little Corvallis.
Melda fan club

FROM Judith Peck, we hear that Steve Coleman and John Leonard have founded a little theater group and produce every year one of Shakespeare's plays, free, in Old Mill Park. Last summer: “As You Like It”   . . . Judith, the daughter of Melda Ludlow's late friend Ione Peck, is still working at a law firm. “Amazingly, in two years I'm eligible for Social Security,” she writes. “And to think just yesterday I was just a wee little baby.” 
   She shouldn't be surprised. Her younger sister, Karen, is now a grandmother of four.  The two of them decided to pay yet another visit to Montana (where their mother met Melda in college back in the days of the Hoover Administration), but they chose to drive (24 hours on the road). “When I read that they are now X-raying you with machines that virtually disrobe and strip-search you, I decided to opt out of the Global War on Terror.”
MELDA'S younger brother, the Rev. Richard Schwab, 85, retired 20 years ago from the  Glenwood Community Church in Vancouver, Ore., but he figured that since then he has spoken 900 times on the Resurrection and in Bible classes.     
5 Cascade Way
JIM AND MARILYN  Wallace, who bought the old Ludlow house at 5 Cascade Way in Mill Valley, are still working on its restoration. A big job.
  To get closer to the project, they moved from their house in San Francisco's Noe Valley and bought the well-shaded house at 1 Molino Ave.
   It’s downhill from the cottage that John Ludlow converted into a piano studio and Steve Coleman redid as an (unfinished)  puppet theater.
  "For us, Mill Valley is a wonderful place to live," Marilyn writes. "Waking each morning to the sound of water flowing in Old Mill Creek and looking out over the redwood groves in the park compensates for an otherwise sheltered environment. For us it's a wonderful contrast to the noise of the City."
   Work on 5 Cascade Way  stopped last winter while the Wallaces negotiated with city planners. They have an upbeat attitude. Nobody told them that in Mill Valley you are ordered to do this-and-that, and then ordered not to do it. Example: The city wants them to join the house with the cottage to deal with the cottage's "illegal status." But that would increase the square footage, requiring designated parking (which is fairly impossible).
   "We still have visions of a beautifully restored set of cottages with decks cascading down the hill," she wrote, "something that we know would meet with Melda's approval for her home as it passes to a new generation."  
    She's right. Melda would approve. Vehemently.

The Tardy Times

September 2008

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