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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2003        Wednesday, January 1 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster A fresh start

I have been requesting that readers send in "New Years memories" related to the Blacklick Valley for the past week, but none have come in. And in searching my own memory banks, none come back to me, either. I remember some New Years in the movies (Diner, Yanks) more vividly than any of those in my own formative years in Nanty Glo and the Valley. Dan Fogelberg's "Another Auld Lang Syne," one of my seasonal favorite songs, inspires more vivid mind pictures than past experiences.

Our gang, under the leadership of Dick Millward when I was 17 to 21, no doubt went to record hops on New Years eve, perhaps at the Johnstown Teen Canteen or even at the Nanty Glo UMWA Hall (certainly, if there were any). On several of those nights I'd bet that we ended up later at a pool hall (as we so often did), perhaps in Altoona, lamenting failure to find warmer companionship to round out the evening/wee hours of morning. There were many of those nights, but I don't specifically recall any of them as New Years eve nights.

Nor is the cloudiness of memory related to anything or too much we drank. None of us ever consumed alcohol when out together, though some of our group would have done so in other company.

I do remember Watch Night Service at the First Baptist Church in Vintondale on at least one New Years. And before I started going out each evening in my mid-teens, I remember sitting in my room, writing, reviewing and previewing the calendar. For several years before I began hitch-hiking to Nanty Glo I clacked away on my Underwood portable typewriter for hours every night, and after the folks went to bed in the next room, I wrote in longhand in my journals or notepads. On New Years eves I wrote resolutions and plans, prognostications.

It's an axiom that to succeed, you must have a mental image of what success will be like. So in my puberty I converted my childish daydreaming into schemes of success. I would review the year before and imagine ways of making the next one better, at least in terms of the ledger. A decade later I was too busy, too occupied and preoccupied for such time-consuming reviewing and previewing. Maybe that's where I went wrong.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 New Year's toast

Dance as if no one were watching,
sing as if no one were listening
and live every day as if it were your last.

Thought for the day

This day Time winds th' exhausted chain,
To run the twelve month's length again.

Robert Burns, New Year's Day, 1791

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