Alan Bridgeford

Squeeze box helps Bothell man to see the world around him

When asking musicians what instrument they play, the accordion isn't high on the list of likely answers.

When asking musicians what instrument they play, the accordion isn’t high on the list of likely answers.

But if you ask Bothell resident Alan Bridgeford it is a huge part of his life.

The 24-year-old has been rocking the squeezebox for more than a decade after playing a toy accordion while he practiced piano.

“I got interested in playing the accordion since I was 12-years-old,” he said.

His repertoire includes polka, waltz, Christmas and kids songs, as well as traditional hymns.

Sitting in his family’s living room on a recent morning, Bridgeford let loose with versions of “On Top of Spaghetti” and “The Skater’s Waltz.”

The fingers on his left hand pounded away at the rhythm buttons while his right glazed over the keyboard providing grooving melodies.

Bridgeford opened a regional Special Olympics swim match on April 17 by playing the national anthem.

While he doesn’t swim, Bridgeford does compete in track events and recently won a gold medal.

All this is made even more remarkable because Bridgeford is blind.

But it doesn’t seem to slow him down as he heads down to the Seattle Center to jam at the playground for families and kids, or at the Northshore Senior Day Center or at Edmonds Senior Center.

He’s taking lessons currently, and will be playing at the Sorenson Carnival at Sorenson Early Childhood Center on June 7 and hopes to eventually open a game at Safeco or Quest Field.

Bridgeford also takes booking requests, and his mother can be reached at swimerskier@comcast.net or at 206-719-2887.

More in News

The Council recognized the AFIS program as it celebrates 30 years of assisting law enforcement throughout King County. Councilmembers, AFIS staff and King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht join AFIS regional manager, Carol Gillespie. Photo courtesy of King County.
King County Council recognizes county’s Automated Fingerprint Information System

For three decades, AFIS has helped law enforcement solve thousands of cases.

‘This might have been a once in a generation opportunity’: Kenmore’s Lakepointe deal grinds to a halt

City officials unsure of what comes next for the more than 50 acre industrial site.

King County Flood Control District approves 2019 Budget on Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of King County Flood Control District.
King County Flood Control District approves $93 million budget

The 2019 District Budget will maintain current flood protection services.

Student veterans receive new resource center at UW Bothell

The Veterans Resource Center at UW Bothell was created after student veterans indicated they wanted a space designated for themselves.

Bothell voters approve public safety ballot measures

As of election night on Nov. 6, both the levy and bond were passing.

Democrats lead in 46th Legislative District

Voters are sending David Frockt, Gerry Pollet and Javier Valdez back to Olympia.

Democrats lead in 1st Legislative District

Derek Stanford and Shelley Kloba were successful in their re-election bids.

DelBene leads in 1st Congressional District in early returns

As of election night, incumbent Suzan DelBene was leading with 69 percent of the vote, to Jeffrey Beeler’s 31 percent.

UW Bothell Student Veterans Services held an Open House and Coffee event during this year’s Welcome Week and remains the main arm in helping veterans. The new resource center adds to this support. Photo courtesy of Marc Studer, UW Bothell
UW Bothell opens new veterans resource center on campus

The new Veteran Resource Center is designed to connect veterans and build relationships.

In Kenmore, the SMP applies to Lake Washington, Sammamish River, and Swamp Creek and associated wetlands. Bothell’s SMP, which was last updated in 2013, also governs development next to the Sammamish River (pictured) and Swamp Creek, along with North Creek. Photo courtesy of Mark Hussein
Bothell, Kenmore look to protect shorelines

Shoreline master programs protect and restore valuable aquatic resources for future generations.

Ashe joins Bothell as new economic development manager

She will work cooperatively with both long-time and future business owners in the city.

Said Farzad reportedly called in numerous bomb threats to state agency offices in Olympia. No bombs have been found, but the state agencies are increasing police presence and bomb-sniffing dogs. Reporter File Photo
Suspended psychiatrist suspected of making bomb threats

The suspect was previously convicted of telephone harassment of a Bothell insurance company and has reportedly called in numerous threats from various countries. No bombs have been found.