New Year’s was always a special time for our family. Our celebration wasn’t a big affair, but it was a special time to be together as a family. It was also the only time of the year I could stay up past midnight.
Our celebration would begin with food. We didn’t have any special food, but we had plenty of munchies to eat. It was also the rare occasion when we could drink pop (soda). The only other occasion was when we were sick. Dad believed that Vernors could cure any ailment that came our way.
While munching on the snacks, we would wait for the ball to drop in Times Square. The only show to watch in our family was Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians. I know that there were other shows, but Dad insisted that it wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without Guy Lombardo and his special brand of music.
Soon, Guy Lombardo would take us to Times Square and we would join the crowds via our television set. I always marveled at the big ball coming down, then we would hear Auld Lang Syne being played. Finally, the New Year had arrived. My parents would give us each a kiss and I would be off to bed. Another year had passed.
New Year’s Day would provide only one “highlight”. Dad insisted that we watch the Tournament of Roses Parade. We would all sit in front of our black and white television, and watch the parade with Dad. Every year, Dad would remind us that each float was covered with fresh flowers. This fact was impressive, but with our small black and white television it was difficult to watch this parade for what seemed like forever.
The one exception to the above routine was in 1966 when Michigan State played UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Instead of watching the game on our black and white television, we went to my Uncle’s house on Winona Avenue, because he had a color television set. The quality wasn’t great, but it was a unique experience to watch the game in color.
I am thankful for the memories of being with my family during New Year’s Eve and Day. Dad and Mom made this time of year filled with great memories.
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