On Lady Luck and a Lucky Lady

Mary's salmon

As I write this, my wife Mary is participating in a five-day ladies’ fishing adventure in Ketchikan, Alaska. She likes to fish and is having a blast, but the reason she’s enjoying this particular excursion is because I won the trip in a drawing by Girl Hunter author Georgia Pellegrini.

The reason I know about Georgia Pellegrini is because my friend Kent Koptiuch linked to her website from his blog, Subtropical Adventures.  And the reason I’m bringing this up now is because Kent recently wrote an interesting post about luck. Specifically, he talks about his 25 years of applying unsuccessfully for moose permits in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. He also entered the drawing for the ladies’ fishing trip on behalf of his own long-suffering wife.

Georgia Pellegrini was an investment banker who became a chef who became a hunter. The book is definitely worth reading.

Kent says in his post that he doesn’t consider himself a very lucky guy. Just reading his moose story and the outcome of the drawing, you might be inclined to believe him. But if you delve very deeply into his blog — and hear some of the tales he can’t commit to paper — you will likely reach the same conclusion I have: Kent simply spends his luck differently than many of the rest of us.

When you consider that he’s a mountain rescue specialist, ski patrol, volunteer fireman, geologist, and that he’s spent time logging, commercial fishing and hunting all over the world, you wonder if maybe he used up a lot of his luck just staying alive this long.

Sure, much of his “luck” is actually the product of hard work and intelligence, but there are plenty of smart, industrious people who get hit by buses or struck by lightning. And he has put himself in places and situations where one bad decision or one moment’s lack of attention could have been the final chapter in the Book of Kent. But it wasn’t, and that’s a lucky break for all of us.

Which brings me to my next point: It’s entirely possible that Kent is one of those rare people who spends his luck on others. After all, had it not been for him, I wouldn’t have heard of Georgia Pellegrini when I did. That means I wouldn’t have bought her book, read it and liked it. Then, I wouldn’t have visited her website, noticed the Alaska drawing, entered and won the trip. And instead of fishing right now, Mary would be here, reminding me of the growing list of honey-dos that I have been dodging all summer. As it is, I fully intend on doing more “blog-related research” this weekend, knowing she can’t be mad at me because, hey, she got to go to Alaska.

This is the lodge in Ketchikan where Mary is staying for the next few days. Side note: Women who are 4,000 miles away and enjoying themselves are 63-percent less likely to complain about the mess in the attic.*

All of this is a long-winded way of saying “thanks” to Kent for sharing Georgia’s website and a portion of his ever-dwindling supply of good luck. In fact, I feel like I should do something nice for him in return.

Maybe I’ll invite him over for a dinner of fresh Alaskan fish. As luck would have it, I know someone who might be able to hook us up.

* * *

If you haven’t read Girl Hunter, I highly recommend it. Georgia Pellegrini’s story is an interesting one, as are her descriptions of hunting in various places around the country. A classically trained chef, she also includes some excellent game recipes at the end of each chapter. Visit her website for more information and lots of interesting stories about cooking, fishing, hunting, gardening and more.

* I completely made that up. I really have no idea how far away Ketchikan is.


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