Auld Lang Syne and New Years - When you think about New Year's Eve you can't help but sing the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, as the Scots would say. Interestingly, this popular tune was written mostly by Robert Burns in the 1700's and finally published in 1796. It means "old long ago" or "the good old days." Imagine, people celebrating New Years have sung this song for over 200 years. I've often wondered what percentage of the people singing this wonderful song actually know all the words. Me? Heck no, I follow the lead of those who know the words.
And then there is the New Year's holiday tradition.
Over 4,000 years ago the ancient Babylonians celebrated the new year with the first new moon. The Babylonian celebration of the new year lasted for 11 days. Now, that is a new year celebration!
The Romans in 153 BC changed the calendar and January 1st was selected as the day of the beginning of the new year. Thus, we still celebrate January 1st as the beginning for the new year, regardless of any astronomical significance. Thus, we can thank the Romans for this annual holiday marking the new year and resolutions we rarely keep.
Here's to the ancient Babylonians (2,000 BC) and Romans (153 BC) for our vacation day in 2007.
Snowbirds - This is the time of year when snowbirds typically migrate from the frozen north to warmer grounds in Florida. Snow is falling in the upper mid-west and folks should be looking to the south for weather relief.
When talking to some local Clearwater area residents who remember what it was like to live in Clearwater during the 1960's and 1970's during the months of January, February and March, they remember "NO VACANCY" signs over local motels and the few larger beach hotels full to capacity. Northern visitors reportedly vacationed in the local area for a couple of weeks while other visitors remained for the winter months before driving home in April.
Repeat visitors became friends of motel owners and helped to support local small merchants and restauranteers. I've often heard those days mentioned as "the simple, good old days when you could rent a motel room by the week or month."
For the most part, those old days are gone. Pro-development people say that Clearwater is experiencing a "renaissance" of sorts. Yes, a renaissance. Like many of you, I'm waiting to see it. However, who would have thought we would experience an insurance crisis and skyrocketing property taxes. And, if you live in a high-rise condominium, what about those monthly condo association fees?
Yep, times have changed.
Did She Have Something To Do With It? - My wife ran into Charlie Crist at the airport some time before he announced he would run for the governor's seat. Charlie Crist, as folks know, remembers everyone's name; and true to form, he remembered my wife's name from early campaign talks supporting Charlie when he first ran for the state senate. My wife said, "Charlie, am I speaking to the next governor?" Crist, with his quick smile replied, "From your lips to God's ears." A hand-shake and everyone left to board their flights.
A passing thought at the airport turned into reality. Governor Charlie Crist. Wow.
Was Joe Paterno Telling The Truth - I remember when Penn State football was based upon large linemen and a big fullback that would run north and south. Folks referred to this offensive strategy as "three yards and a cloud of dust." Penn State was not a part of the Big Ten Conference and beat just about every team but Notre Dame. Times have changed and Joe Paterno began to lose more football games to teams with speed. Speed overcame size. Coaches like Steve Spurrier soon garnered the spotlight while Penn State joined the Big Ten and became an average Big Ten football program (under Michigan and Ohio State.)
However, things began to change at Penn State when Joe Paterno realized he needed to recruit speed . . . which he did.
Which state was known to produce speedy athletes? Florida. Of course, many of the Florida's best athletes stayed in Florida - Gators, Noles, Hurricanes and now Bulls.
Not recruiting speed in Florida to play at Penn State?
Perhaps Paterno couldn't convince Florida's best to leave the Sunshine State.
Goals - Long-range goals are necessary to keep one from being frustrated by short-range failures. - Unknown Author
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