It is New Year’s eve and as the world starts to gear up for the end-of-year celebrations, my mind wanders back to memories of some of the good ones.
1. Mexico in a street-side cafe. It was Acapulco and we were on our honeymoon. At midnight the cooking crew emerged from the kitchen banging pots and pans in an impromptu parade.
2. Y2K. Stationed at one of the largest computing centers in the world, we waited for the year 2000 to roll around and bring about the end of the world. It didn’t happen but we managed to sip a glass of champagne to toast the non-event.
3. Deployment. Nothing good about celebrating the new year at sea, but it is something most of us experience. Right now, thousands more are joining that exclusive club. All over the world watchstanders are readying their poetic midnight deck log entries, a tradition that has been carried on since WWI or so.
4. San Juan, Puerto Rico. On base at a nearly empty Army hotel, we watched the fireworks explode over the tropical canopy.
5. Times Square. By the grace and connections of some good friends, we stood right in front of Colin Powell as he pushed the button to drop the ball. It was a priceless and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Those are my top five, but this year will top them all. Because this year, we get to watch the potato drop.
We live in Idaho, and for the first time ever, a giant potato will be lowered from a crane to herald in the new year.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8_u2jvv_4U[/youtube]
Here is an exclusive interview with the CEO of the Great Potato Drop. They even have their own website.
In Idaho, we are not quite sure what to think about having our own celebration. We are used to bringing in the new year by watching two-hour old reruns of the ball dropping in New York. This year, however, the potato drop will be live. It will hit the pavement at midnight OUR time.
It will be one of the biggest news stories of the year.
So celebrate on, my brothers and sisters. I hope you have a festive new year’s eve. Out here in flyover country we will be watching a behemoth, sixteen foot long spud drop from a tall building in Boise.
Midwatch Deck Entry – 0000 local, 01JAN2014
Listen, my friends
And you will hear
Of a night that they’ll talk about
Both far and near
It ain’t a big ball
Dropped in New York’s Times Square
But a giant potato
Dangling high in the air
At just before midnight
Two thousand thirteen
The world will behold
A site never seen
A sixteen foot spud
Will begin its descent
As hundreds – no, THOUSANDS
All watch the event
At midnight the tuber
Will land on the ground
As cheers fill the air
And celebrations abound
And somewhere at sea
A Sailor on watch
Sheds a tear ’cause he missed
The potato get launched.
Happy New Year from the Broadside gang.