Letters to the Editor

Rockin' A Hard Place: The true meaning of rockin’ a potluck

By Harry Anderson

What is it about life on the Rock that makes all of us so contented most of the time?

Can’t be the weather — too wet. Can’t be the booming economy — it isn’t. Can’t be the scintillating night life — um, let’s not go there.

So, why are we so content? Here’s my theory: We go to a lot of potlucks.

Think about it. How else would we enjoy all manner of local food favorites concocted by people who know how to make them, drink cheap — let’s make that “good for the price” – wine and hear all manner of Rock chatter and important gossip? All for the admission price of a casserole or a plate of raw vegetables.

But instead of me saying more, let’s hear it from a contented couple about to go to one.

These are people I made up, but I bet you’ll recognize them. What I notice about couples who live on the Rock is that,  come rain, wind, landslides, power outages or tourists,they’re always very, very content. Love this island. Never been happier. Can’t imagine living anywhere else.

So, here’s my impression of pre-potluck chatter between Chad and Chick, a cheerfully contented couple from Coupeville.

“What time we supposed to go,” Chad asks.

“They said to be at Sid and Sal’s by six,” Chick responds.

“That means six-thirty, doesn’t it? What are we bringing?” Chad asks.

To which Chick responds, “The usual. Deviled eggs and three-bean salad.”

A contented Chad says, “No need to change that! But I do hope Sal doesn’t make her celery stuffed with whatever that is.”

A puzzled Chick responds, “Why’s that?”

“I’d never tell her, but it tastes kind of funny. I don’t know what she puts in it. But I do hope Lon and Lou bring their Rockwell beans. The Sherman Family recipe. You know if they’re coming?” Chad says.

Chick responds, “Those two haven’t missed a potluck in 10 years. You’ll sooner see a sunny day in December than for Lon and Lou to bring something other than Rockwell beans to a potluck.”

“Well, you’re right about that,” Chad acknowledges. “And let’s hope Tom and Trish bring their chicken casserole with those crispy onion things on top. Say, this is making me hungry!”

Chick admonishes, “Now don’t spoil your appetite, Chad! There’s always too much to eat at a Whidbey potluck. You’ll never starve. Dave and Dixie will be there, too. They always bring something they make with the zucchini they grow.”

“Remember that zucchini I brought in from our garden last September?” Chad asks. “If I hadn’t picked it right then, that green monster would probably have weighed four pounds the next day! That stuff grows like a weed on Whidbey.”

Chick adds, “I still have a bunch of it in the freezer. I’ll make some zucchini bread to take to the Methodist potluck on Sunday. And, thank God we live on Whidbey! Mountains, water, friendly people, potlucks and more zucchini than we can eat. What more could you ask for?

“We are blessed,” Chad says. “Know what? While you’re making those deviled eggs, I’ll sneak in a little nap before we go. Wake me up around 5:45, would you, so I can put on a clean pair of jeans and fresh T-shirt?”

To which Chick quickly responds, “OK, but don’t put your grass-stained sneakers on the couch!”

I told you that you’d recognize these people. Now go get ready for the next potluck!


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