Archive for Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Year’s Eve in Lansing

December 29, 2005

The New Year 2006, starts on Sunday. This is the 12th time in the past 100 years that a New Year starts on Sunday. This is the ninth for me. The year my wife Ada and I were married, 1950, had the exact calendar as we will have in 2006.

Thinking of the early 1950s, our friends and we did not have much money to go on so we decided to start a club of about 12 couples to meet once a month at each other's homes for a party. This was our social life, and thanks to grandmas, most of us had baby-sitters.

This club was called "The Chit and Chatter Club." We even had officers. Each month each couple would contribute $1 to be saved for special occasions, such as Fourth of July picnic or dinner out at a nice restaurant.

As our children grew older, they would join us for outdoor picnics, either in our back yards or Wyandotte Lake. I'm sure they could tell a lot of stories about these parties.

Our club organized New Year's Eve parties for a number of years that included anyone in town who wanted to come. We charged each couple about $6, which would cover food, drinks, decorations and noisemakers. One of the first parties was in the Lansing Coffee Shop, right next to the Lansing Hotel on East Kansas Street. They were all great fun.

We always played Guy Lombardo's record "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight. Auld Lang Syne is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world.

Robert Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne" in 1741. It was not published until 1796, after Burns' death. It has seven verses, but no one we knew could get past the first one.

Thank you for reading my column. My hope for you is to have a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year.

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