New Year’s Eves to remember – and one giant potato


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.

(Boise Weekly)

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.


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.


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  1. Well said, and well drawn, my friend. I actually missed being underway on any New Year’s Eve, but Saigon in 1972 does qualify as a “different” location to be. No spuds dropped, and fortunately no “incoming” either, but plenty of Vietnamese fireworks.

  2. My most memorable New Years was 1 Jan. 1968 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) on Yankee Station. We (RVAH-11) had survived the Forrestal fire on 29 July 1967 and immediately returned to Yankee Station on 23 Dec. 1967 aboard the Hawk with the thoughts still fresh in our mind of the 134 men we had lost and hoping that 1968 would be a safer year for all.

    Thanks for continuing to feed us the “happy side” Jeff! Best wishes for you and yours in 2014.


  3. my most memorable new Year’s eve was when we have this family tradition: Every New Year’s eve, we walk into the woods behind our house and look up at the millions of twinkling lights up in the sky. At midnight, we each pick a star and make a wish. This year, I really needed my wish to come true. In fact, everything depended on it. I was wishing for god to give me enough strength to pass through this difficult period in my life. I was wishing for him to strengthen my heart and soul to never lose belief in myself. After making my wishes It’s time to go back inside the house to watch a movie with the family. I can’t think of a good movie to watch so I Went to this site
    and found a huge lists of movies. Finally, I found what I’ve been wanting to see. We ended the night watching Forrest Gump.

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