People from around the community grab the edition to see if their favorites make the final list in a given category. Confirmations are made and new places to visit and people to know are discovered. 

This list always has beloved entries. This year, for me, it was the Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club. There is no better place in the region to head to on a hot summer night to catch a breeze, a brew and music by Greg Shumate and The Drysdales. No matter where you’re from, you’ll always run into someone you know hanging out beneath the big shark guarding the Ludlow-Bromley border. 

I chuckle when my son talks about heading to the LBYC with his friends for an evening of enjoyment. It’s now the cool place to be in NKY. But when I was a kid growing up in Ludlow, the establishment had a slightly more ominous (read unacceptably loud and rowdy) reputation. 

And I saw it firsthand.

Only a couple hundred yards up the shore, my parents’ spot to watch sundown was the back porch of the World War II Vets of Ludlow. It was a family place where kids could watch their parents get sloshed on cheap beer in a respectable manner.

On the back deck, Mom and Dad would chat with other parents in disgusted tones about the loud music emanating from the “boat dock.” I can’t remember each song echoing up the river valley, but “Louie Louie” comes to mind. 

I’m sure the folks next door at the Knights of Columbus—a secret society of people who went to church on Saturday night and slept in on Sundays—had similar discussions about the level of depravity just down river. 

The weekend routine at the old boat dock was pretty predictable. Everything would be fine until the sun went down. Then the jukebox would get a little louder. About an hour after dusk, a fight would break out and the police would respond. Like Otis Campbell in Mayberry, the Ludlow jail had its regulars. 

Every other year or so, they’d find the body of a customer floating next to the dock. 

My dad gave me a lot of leash when I was young. But he had one airtight rule. If I were ever caught at the boat dock, I might as well not come home. It was the ultimate slur against the family name to have a child who frequented the boat dock.

Of course, that meant as soon as I was old enough to drink, I headed there for a beer. I remember running into my brother-in-law who bribed me with Burger beer to not tell my old man.

The Ludlow-Bromley Yacht Club certainly has changed since that visit, but it is still the place to be. .