Well, the ones I still remember…
By Jeff Salter
A few weeks ago (not having checked the topic calendar to realize we’d be discussing this now), I posted a few paragraphs about one of my most unusual New Years’ observances — overseas in 1972. I’ll reprint it here in case you missed it before.
44 Years Ago
New Years Eve 1972 was a Sunday. I was stationed inside the Arctic Circle, some 900 miles from the North Pole, at an American military base on Danish “soil” in Greenland — Thule Air Base. Thule was part of what was then called Aerospace Defense Command and was instrumental as one of a network of distant early warning sites for NORAD. We were watching the skies for Russian ICBMs… so that youse guys back home would have a few minutes warning before their nuclear missiles hit.
That New Years Eve, I was at the NCO Club with buddies. There was, of course, considerable noise and drinking. [Except for a couple of times that year, I was a light drinker and don’t recall consuming much alcohol that night.]
The USO group was Danish, singing exclusively American songs, as I recall. Lead singer was a comely young lady.
As the midnight hour struck, most of the guys swarmed the stage to get a kiss — a feminine caress being quite a rarity in a base with only two female officers assigned. It wasn’t so much a queue as a small mob, but eventually I was next in the singer’s view. I simply stuck out my hand, intending to shake hers… believing that the mere touch of a woman’s hand might suffice. But she caught my eyes, smiled, and pulled me close enough that she could kiss me… and she did.
I hadn’t really wanted to kiss her, those lips having just touched the mouths of all those other lecherous males… but it happened so fast, I had little choice but to follow through with the momentum. “Happy New Year,” I then said to her. I think she replied in Danish.
A Few Decades Ago
During the latter third (approximately) of our 26 years in Bossier City LA, we often got together on New Year’s Eve with some of our church friends. Low-key — just potluck food, fellowship, and maybe a few games. Then, as the new year was on its way, we’d go around the room and “pray it in”. Always a good way to start a new year — with prayer.
I’ve been sick with cold or flu since Christmas Eve, so I’ve felt horrible all week. I seriously doubt I’ll be significantly better within the next three days, so I’ll probably be at home New Year’s Eve, maybe watching TCM.
What about your New Year’s Eve plans? Anything big? Or just a few friends/family and some quiet fellowship?
[JLS # 312]