New Years Past

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.

nye-1

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.

This Week

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.

Question:

What about your New Year’s Eve plans? Anything big? Or just a few friends/family and some quiet fellowship?

[JLS # 312]

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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4 Responses to New Years Past

  1. No plans here this year. Joe and I will nosh, but probably watch movies. #2 Son in MD; Grandson with his mother and the Granddaughters are big enough to want their own party at #1 Son’s house with their little friends, (which won’t go on until midnight.)
    Happy New Year to you and yours, Jeff!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    No plans here either! I guess that’s what happens when you’ve raised busy kids – they grow into busy adults. That’s okay – I’ve got plenty of writing and sewing projects to work on. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      well, we had a houseful in the days leading up to Christmas, so I guess it was time for a stretch of quiet. Not to mention that I’ve since developed this cold / flu / whatever and don’t feel sociable anyhow.

      Like

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