By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you had a happy New Year.
As you long time readers know, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I try all year to do the right thing, and not hurt anyone in the process and I feel like that’s enough said.
New Year’s resolutions are a classic example of what’s wrong today—symbolism over substance.
I see that once again the doomsayers were wrong and the gullible and ignorant were taken in by this pagan nonsense. I don’t know how, but someone made money out of all this and it only proves what P. T. Barnum meant when he said there is one born every minute.
I see nothing wrong with New Year’s Eve celebrations as long as those celebrating don’t destroy property and have a designated driver. I’ve participated in many of them over the years, many times as the designated driver.
I remember a New Year’s Eve dance at the old gym in the late forties where they brought in a well known dance band from Florida. Since New Year’s Eve was Sunday it had to begin at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The cover was $4.40 per couple, about twice what it usually cost, but we still had a great time.
The Saturday night dances always had a Coun-try Western band, always a few fights and usually someone taken to jail. In retrospect, if there had been a properly trained police force, most of the arrests could have been avoided. At the least provocation, out would come the blackjacks and another citizen woke up the next morning in jail with cuts and bruises and facing a fine. Of course, there was always an element that came with the express purpose of starting trouble and they should have been locked up.
They stopped selling us cokes in the little green bottles and instead would pour them into a paper cup be-cause they were often used as weapons in a fight. We accepted it as just the way things were.
Some teenagers would pool their money and send someone old enough down to John T’s in Carroll County to bring back a case of beer. Like Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
Last Saturday I received a call from Dr. William Baddley, a retired professor from LSU, who lives in Baton Rouge. We had a long conversation about family history and about when he worked at Lowe’s drug store. We remembered how kids would always try to get the table in the front window to watch the people passing by. We also talked about Lowe’s curb service.
“Back then you were Charles Norman and I was Billy instead of Chuck and Bill,” he said.
Dr. Baddley’s dad, Henry Baddley and Mother were first cousins and Henry worked for Coca Cola for his entire working life. Bill mentioned that we had both been in touch with one of our cousins, John Badley who lives in Laurel and is the great grandson of Will Badley who lived in Oklahoma. There were four brothers, Charlie, Elijah, Will, and Guy, Bill’s grandfather who was custodian at the high school for many years and actually died on the job. We both promised to stay in closer touch with each other in the future.
January will begin our thirteenth year of Reflec-tions.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101. I hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year.