While celebrating the arrival of 2014 with friends last night, I was thinking of how the new year was welcomed in the past. It brought back some good memories and a reflection on how far things have changed.
As a child, it was generally seen as a waste of energy to have the lights and TV on late at night. When the local news came on, it was a signal to get in the bed. One night out of the year, I would beg to stay up and watch the ball drop in Times Square. My mother would sleepily oblige and allow it. I can vividly remember seeing Dick Clark in prime health, dressed in a thick long jacket as he patiently awaited the beginning of the end, per say. People like Madonna, A-Ha, Billy Joel, Janet Jackson, and many others would celebrate the new year along with him. The most memorable of the new year’s celebrations was when I was able to see Billy Vera perform At This Moment before a packed crowd. Another performance I looked forward to seeing was Barry Manilow singing It’s Just Another New Years Eve, of which, I did not see last night. It was sad that I didn’t see it, but saw people singing and dancing around that I never knew existed. Times, I guess, change.
As I got older, I was able to celebrate with my sister who was, by that time, married. One very memorable one was the New Years we three, along with another married couple, drove to Pine Hill so that we could go to the liquor store. The county then was dry. I know…bummer! We went to the store, and on the way home, midnight came and the car was pulled over for a New Year’s kiss. That is, except for me as I was alone. Oh well, it was probably for the best. Before we arrived home, my brother-in-law saw a deer on the roadside. Believe it or not, he had a gun in the car and took a shot. My sister, the other wife, and I got out of the car at home and the two other guys went looking to see if the deer had really been killed. Just in case you forgot, I am a country boy!
To be honest, I don’t remember many New Year’s observations while at The University of West Alabama. One year, while living with two fraternity brothers instead of going home for the Christmas break, we decided to have a few people over. We started drinking early and decided to visit a local bar called The Brass Monkey. We got there and entered. We bought a beer and stood around for a few minutes. We left and waited for more people to arrive. Once more people came, a few people wanted to go back to the bar and we went. I got to the door and a person was checking ID’s. I just looked at the guy, holding one of their cups and drinking their beer. I just said…”Really? I’m drinking your beer already.” It wouldn’t have been an issue, but just turned 19 a few weeks earlier. Me and one or two others turned around and headed back to the trailer. It was, once again, probably for the best.
I think I went to one celebration at Crossroads Bar near Meridian, MS one year. I must have been pretty drunk as I don’t remember it. I think that was when the Hunch Punch was made and I think I had some champagne at midnight. There were no drugs in my system, but the night definitely is a blur.
Within the 15 years we have been in Atlanta, there have been as many celebrations. Among those were:
- the obvious Y2K celebration
- the Hoedowns celebration with some Atlanta friends
- the Eagle celebration with GeorgeInAtlanta and Romo from PodCubs Podcast
- the boring celebration with friends in Alpharetta
- the “let’s try pot for the first time” while shot-gunning it with a guy I’d never met and miss the ball dropping
- the few years of celebrating New Year’s with local people
Last night, we were able to accompany one of our dear friends to the house of some guys he knew. We had a great time talking to people and meeting new friends. Many of the people were from out of town. It’s a great idea when we can go to a party and meet new people. We can tend to be home bodies and pull ourselves out of the public scene. That being said, we have to change. There are so many people out there to meet if we would get into the position of meeting them.
No matter what you did to bring in 2014, I hope that you, along with me, will find every opportunity to push yourself hard to achieve things you’ve wanted. I have a few things to complete soon, but after that, I would like to write more. I would like to find a way to get the stories in my head onto paper or the computer; to place my thoughts into words. That’s one thing on my list of hopes and dreams for 2014. Use your energy to make yourself better…for yourself.