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Posted 1/04/12 (Wed)


Well, I hope you had a happy New Year’s Eve. I sure did. And I almost made it. Really. I almost made it until midnight. Oh, I tried. I really tried.
I’ll start at the beginning. You see, I don’t really relish going out on New Year’s Eve. I mean, I like celebrating as much as the next guy. In fact, I probably enjoy it more than the next guy. I suppose it depends a lot on who the next guy is. I used to try to be home by daylight. Now, I’m happiest if I can be home by dark. So the idea of staying up until midnight is kind of foreign to me. Unless you are in a serious card game. That casts an entirely different light on the midnight hour. And no one goes out to play cards on New Year’s Eve.
But, since New Year’s Eve is the big event at New Hradec, we look forward to it. Last year, we missed it. Remember? Snow, blowing snow, blocked roads, bitter cold… We had to miss it. We had attended the two previous years, and had the time of our lives. So this year, we did make it.
And it was great! The Hall was in great shape. I know that Dickinson is the deep-fried turkey capital of the civilized world, but I think they learned how to do it in New Hradec. Deep fried turkey, succulent roast beef, a rice dish that I really enjoy (if the Chinese learn how to cook rice like this, we will no longer have boxes of rice sitting in our fridge for two weeks after eating Chinese), and a bunch of other things. I think those ladies in the kitchen are really chefs from a New York five-star restaurant. I know you’re getting tired of my talking about food.
 I was disappointed that the Tibor Brothers weren’t playing. I was going to dances and learning to smoke and drink beer and occasionally dancing to their music several decades ago. But alas, I imagine they had a gig booked in Vegas or New York or somewhere. I always knew they would make it big.
But there was another great band playing. Oh, I suppose if you are into hard rock or rap or some of that other stuff, you wouldn’t have been impressed. But to the dance crowd at the Catholic Workman’s Hall, it was just right.
Now, I’m getting a little long in the tooth. I danced a couple of dances, but then I knew a couple of aspirin later on, would stop the throbbing in my knee and I would be able to sleep. My knees aren’t designed for the load I’m asking them to carry. But there were couples well into their 80s out there dancing. Even basketball Ray got into the swing of things! Had to mention it, Ray. And Coach Hank was cutting a rug.
It was great. Good clean fun (that’s when you know you’re old). We met one couple who met at the New Year’s Eve dance 33 years ago. Their first date. And as a husband and wife, they haven’t missed the celebration in 33 years. Now, I don’t know if that’s a record or not. I’m sure there were some there that haven’t missed it in 70 years. But I’m not the prying type.
All I know is a friend at the table next to ours, suggested we toast the New Year on central time! So at eleven o’clock we raised our glasses in celebration, hit the road, and were in bed at a quarter to 12! Oh yes, and Shirley drove.

Happy New Year,