Let’s pretend that there really are such things as “New Year’s resolutions” and that real people make them. Just suppose that a bunch of folks just decided to tell me their resolutions.
Lucinda Peppers, Sandra D. Morris, Chris Jones, Mary Wyatt McWhorter, Beth Turner, Jane Hicks, Teresa Johnson and Catherine Schanabarger desired to be better in some way — kinder, more giving, more helpful to others.
John Templeton would be more attentive to his time. Jane Mitchell looks forward to spending time finishing her latest novel, “You Can’t Ride This Train.” (Carol Bolton is eager to read it.)
Louise Cornutt vows to try to stay away from sales, both online and at the mall. Earl Hicks, Kathy Yancey and Paul Armstrong never make resolutions to begin with.
Then there is my student, Chris Heard, lost and found one extraordinary day on Facebook, who reminded everyone “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?”
Perhaps the supermoons in December have something to do with the way that it was in the ‘70s; a new Age of Aquarius, when peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.
With the strains “Auld Lang Syne” still softly caressing our hearts, I’ll offer my small goodbye to two giants who stopped beside the weary road to help a little red-haired girl along her own journey.
Goodbye silly, sweet and kind Ben Pillitary. He snuck my chips and kept that “Mean Ol’ Miss Martin” (she was all of four feet tall, but meaner than a rattlesnake and she had taught my mother) from telling Dr. Akers I was disturbing her class by giving her a hug and telling her it was his class making the noise.
The last time Ben came to my rescue, I was in the checkout at Johnson’s downtown and needed two more dollars for materials for an activity at the library. There was a long line behind me and my purse was in the car — but Ben was behind me, waving the needed $2.
Goodbye, too, to wonderful Fred Sington. Of course, I can’t think of the University of Alabama without thinking of Fred. He was one of Bear’s boys, and being a teacher myself I know how important former students are.
But my connection with Fred is much more recent. I wanted to apply for a part-time position at the library and needed a reference; Fred was my choice. He told me later, “I just looked ‘em in the eye and said, ‘I don’t know why not. She’s got a degree from Jacksonville, a master’s from the University of Alabama, she’s been teaching since she was a teenager, I believe she could putter around the library a little.” I got the job.
Fred was the University of Alabama, at least to me, and my special connection to the Bear. But just knowing him was good enough for me.
It’s going to be a different kind of city without those two smiling faces. Yes, a different kind of city, ‘round town.
Glenda Byars is a correspondent for The Gadsden Times. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.