What happened to the one we just got, not too long ago?
No wonder Father Time’s beard is so long. He is really ripping through the years lately. Am I the only one that feels that way?
Maybe it is because I can remember the start of so many new years. It goes with age I guess. Maybe we should ask Lucy Berge about that idea, because she is well qualified. 2024 will be her 106th new year. She just celebrated her 105th birthday.
I can remember a few myself. The best ones were when I was a young heathen in McGill. From birth to age nine can be put in the forgotten bin. At nine, my older brother Paul and I were allowed to go outside on New Year’s eve, with our dad and wait for the Kennecott loud whistle to announce the New Year. Then we would cut loose with shotguns and rifles, along with hundreds of others doing the same thing. It sounded like a real war for a few minutes. We always fired the rifles at Heusser Mountain. The shotguns we fired straight up and then ducked under the eaves as the BB’s came down and bounced off the roof. This continued until I was out of high school and old enough to drink at a bar.
After I turned 21, it was more fun to have a date and go celebrate the new year at a private house party or at a local pub.
One year, I think 1957, a bunch of us renegades were having fun at the old Midget Club. About 1 a.m. we decided to head home. My buddy, Leonard Morrow, went out and started his car to let it warm up, as the temp was far below zero. Just as we got to the car, it ran out of gas and quit. We managed to borrow a can of gas from another buddy’s truck. I made a temporary funnel out of a styrofoam cup. Leonard started pouring the below zero gas into the funnel and wham o, the cup dissolved and my fingers and hand were drenched with cold gas. I learned never to do that again. We finally got the gas into the car and made it home.
McGill and Ely were fun places on New Year’s eve. Folks from all around the county were in a festive mood. As the night wore on, people would move from one tavern to another and sometimes visit with friends on the sidewalk. People carried drinks from one bar to another. The Hotel Nevada and the Bank Club had music and dancing. There was the big dance at the high school gym, called The Fireman’s Ball. They had a huge fireman’s hat sitting on the glass trophy case in the front of the gym. Doug Hawkins and his band furnished the music. The Midget bar was packed and so was Greg’s Club. We would sometimes induce Greg and his wife, Wanda, to dance to some polka music. They were really good. The music back in those days was fun. Men and women held each other close instead of wandering all over the place gyrating to some loud thumping sounds blasting one’s ear drums. It was a different world and I am so thankful that I got to live in it.
In my later years I tended bar at the Hotel Nevada and learned about New Year’s eve. I usually worked at the end of the bar with two cocktail waitresses. It was a madhouse from about 9 to 1 am. I learned what several bartenders had told me before, that New Year’s eve was when all the amateur drinkers were turned loose. I never went out on New Year’s eve again.
So from me to you—ring out the old and in with the new, but stay safe and don’t make a fool out of yourself.
Most everyone makes New Year’s resolutions that they end up breaking later on. I learned to avoid breaking them by simply not making any. Have fun.