2016: Good-Bye and Good Riddance

 

The trivia question is, Why do we celebrate New Year’s on January 1st each year?

So here we are racing hell-bent for leather into another year. No matter which side of the political fence you are on, for most of us it was a nerve-racking election process. Over a month later it still has me babbling to myself and likely will for a long time to come. The scary thing is the campaign and election process was probably only taking our emotional inclinations up the roller coaster that will slowly reach the summit and teeter very quietly until it plunges us ass over teacups, screaming, to the bottom of some great unknown political and social abyss.

I took the last two weeks off from publishing new blogs. First I ran a story from a couple of years ago that many said they liked, and more said so this year, called “A Radio Christmas to Remember,” and then last week I reprised “Once There Was a Time.” Both are on this website, and both are true and wonderful memories for me, some of the many I can look back on in my life, both good and bad, that remind me life is worth living.

To put it in the most polite terms I can think of, the year 2016 really sucked when you weigh the really happy vs the not so happy/really bad. The list of well-known people who died in 2016 is staggering: Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Prince, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Nancy Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Sir George Martin, Leonard Cohen, and the list goes on and on. As always, I have a soundtrack playing in my head, and right now I’m listening to Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died.” I lost two very dear friends, Father Daniel Berrigan, the radical priest, and Larry Miller, radio personality. I also lost my sister, and my brother is now perched on the edge of the final answer.

John Lennon sang of UFOs over New York in his song “Nobody Told Me.” What would you think if I wrote a song, some of the lyrics which follow?  Maybe you would think I found some dynamite shrooms until you realized every word is true (and no, Dylan, you can’t have it. I’ve given you enough lyrics over the years).

There’s an orange man in the white house

And a black man on the street,

The Russians have my phone number

So please be discreet,

My neighbors can’t be trusted

And death lives in the wheat…

But as I said, even though this last year has been a great big double whammy, no fun at all, I can still look back on memories and people and places and be glad about them. They make me want to carry on. I hope no matter how difficult your year was you will find those things that say yeah, it was still worth it and I’m glad I’m here now, but good-bye and good riddance 2016.

In the podcast is the answer to the trivia question and some news and thoughts and rock and roll. I hope you’ll join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.

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