Years of New Year’s

Since my mother’s passing in June, these have been the first holidays I’ve spent without either of my parents. Many other friends, relatives and neighbors are also gone. In the 1970s and 80s, we through a lot of parties – often just for the hell of it! People enjoyed coming to our house, as we always had good food, good music and good times. The house is strangely silent for the most part now. And all those extraordinary moments of happiness and frivolity are safely ensconced in my mind forever.

Chief Writing Wolf

Welcoming the 1980s – from right to left, my father, my mother’s younger sister and my mother.  One of my aunt’s daughters is at far left. Welcoming the 1980s – from right to left, my father, my mother’s younger sister and my mother. One of my aunt’s daughters is at far left.

On December 31, 2010, I decided spontaneously to go out for New Year’s Eve.  I had been laid off nearly three months earlier from an engineering company and wondered when things would improve.  I visited my favorite bar just north of downtown Dallas and was glad to encounter a few friends and acquaintances.  As I stood near the DJ booth, surveying the eclectic crowd, I suddenly recollected the very first New Year’s party my parents had decided to throw – 1973.

We had moved into our new house in suburban Dallas a year earlier.  My parents had already made friends with several neighbors; their ebullient personalities attracting even the most staid of individuals.  As the clock struck midnight, and we welcomed 1974, I pulled…

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