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Dusting Off The Memories
Marg's Mug.jpg

Where has my mind been and what has been taking up my thoughts? Oddly enough, the turning of the calendar to 2000. I vividly remember all the uproar over the Y2K and the concern about everything shutting down when the 1900s turned into the 2000s.

So how is that we just hit 2019?

My daughter was not quite four that New Year’s Eve back in 1999 but of course she was at the age where she wanted to be up for the arrival of the next year. Luckily we found a station that was broadcasting live from the East Coast so we were able to watch ‘midnight’ hit at 9 p.m.; she got to celebrate the New Year and still get to bed at a decent hour.

It was a ‘stay-in and watch rented movies’ kind of evening, with a break at midnight West Coast time to count down the seconds to the new millennium and make sure the world didn’t implode upon itself. We made it through.

Since we have just put the wraps on 2018 and enjoyed the final holiday of the year, please indulge me with a few of my fondest New Year’s memories of the past.

Ice fishing. It pretty much became a holiday tradition, when the conditions were good, for my dad, my brother and I to spend some time on New Year’s Day on a local frozen pond or lake, setting up the tip-ups and waiting for the flags to be tripped meaning there was something on the line. Then it was race across the frozen sheet of water (as fast as safely possible) to pull up the line and see if you had a perch, pickerel or even the occasional walleye. They were the most fun, the walleye in a few places in upstate NY got huge and sometimes it seemed like they couldn’t even fit through the little hole you drilled in the ice with the augur.

Plus there was always the thermos of hot chocolate and the Nerf football that my brother and I would take so we could stay busy while waiting for a bite. Then cleaning and preparing the catch to serve as dinner later on was another essential part of the process.

Parades and puzzles. My mom could always, always be found in the living room on New Year’s morning, watching the Tournament of Roses Parade while she worked on whatever new puzzle she had received for Christmas. The card table was set up, the coffee was poured, the puzzle pieces spread out and she settled in for her Jan. 1 routine.

Shopping spree. OK, this one isn’t really from New Year’s but it’s pretty close. My dad started a tradition of having each one of us three kids (my sister, brother and I) pick out an extra gift for Christmas when we did a trip to Oneonta (some 35 or so miles west of where we lived and where I later worked as a newscaster for an AM/FM radio station) in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We typically went to the same department store each year, as they also had a restaurant attached to it and it was a family dinner/shopping evening out. It was always nice to find something you wanted but hadn’t received for Christmas and get to take it home. One of my favorites over the years was a sound effects machine; my brother and I loved producing little dramas and recording stories and the sound effects machine made it that much better.

Just a few items that immediately come to mind when I think of holidays past – great memories that added so much to my growing up years.

This New Year’s Eve, though, was a Monday, just like Christmas Eve was so that meant a busy day at work, getting all three newspapers ready for the press. Nothing wrong with that either; the news must go on.

But now here we are in 2019. My guess is that this will be known as ‘The Year of the Wedding’ as we get ready for a late October wedding date for my daughter and her fiancé. Should be a memorable one.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.