Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve - when I have to be at work at 6:15am the next morning, the bastards.

On my very first New Year's Eve after moving to Brattleboro, I found myself walking up the hill part of Linden Street. It was the last hours of 1995 and the fireworks had just ended (weren't they at 10pm back then?). I was about even with the Retreat Clock Tower when I became aware of the conversation of three people walking a polite distance behind me. "So," asked a male voice, "what do you think Noam Chomsky does on New Year's Eve?" That was the moment when I knew for sure that I had found my place to live.

This is where I used to live, on the hill part of South Main Street.
I sent this to a friend, but I'll be damned if I can remember what year it was.
 Here, they don't celebrate "First Night" on Dec. 31st. Here it's "Last Night". I've no doubt that it took several years, 7 committees, and hundreds of meetings with the same handful of people to come up with that name. But it is the correct choice. The sad thing is that "Last Night" is mostly a police'em and fleece'em kind of thing. It's a forlorn attempt at providing an alcohol free alternative environment for celebrating the joy of survival...  (which may not be all that well advised around here, if ya know what I mean. Just sayin'.)

From my childhood through my mid teens, I always ended up watching the ball drop in Times Square while "Auld Lang Syne" was played by Guy Lombardo live at the Astor Hotel Ballroom. (Oh, Robbie Burns, where are ya lad, where are ya ?) Somewhere, in Beta Max, I have two different NY's Eve shows. One of them is from 1958 when the show was sponsored by Bulova Watch Time with John Cameron Swayze. Or something like that. It was a long time ago. And nothing has been quite right since Guy stopped playing on New Year's Eve. But it seems that every year, I keep turning on the TV shortly before midnight hoping that the world will have righted, and I can safely go about my business.

1 comment:

Austan said...

I think that was 2000. That's the winter I had Zelda and Phoebe was always drunk at my house. We had storms, Xmas Day and New Years Eve that left 30" of it.

I miss Guy, too. And I'm afraid of Dick Clrk now.