Week #22 – New Year’s Memories: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?
Ringing in the New Year
My best guess is that the photo here was taken on New Years Eve in 1980, while my sister Kathleen and I were ringing in 1981. To give a little historical context, this was three months before President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt.
I don’t remember celebrating New Years Eve too much while we were growing up in Saginaw. If I didn’t have this picture to reference, I don’t think I could have said that we celebrated it at all. New Years was definitely downplayed compared to the other holidays I preferred, such as Christmas, Halloween, Easter and my birthday.
Celebrating Y2k in Boston
The only memorable New Years Eve in my life so far has been December 31, 1999. Ringing in the Year 2000 with the Y2k scare was fascinating to experience. I had just graduated from college in May 1999 and moved to Burlington, Massachusetts. I was working for a company named GENUiTY, a full service web hosting provider that eventually went bankrupt and was bought out by Level 3 Communications. I was standing in the Network Operations Center (NOC) at their corporate headquarters in Burlington when the clock struck midnight, waiting with baited breath in the midst of 100 coworkers, anxiously awaiting the rollover to see if our computer systems were going to crash and burn like so many people predicted. We had one minor issue with our Helpdesk ticketing system called Vantive, which would not allow us to open new tickets after midnight. The error kept saying we were trying to open a ticket with a date of more than 90 days from today. We called the software company, they fixed the bug within an hour and we went on with our lives.
I think New Years Eve 1999 might just remain the most exciting non-event in my life. These days, Andrew and I typically reserve New Years Eve to upgrade our computers, back up our files and run Windows Updates. We don’t drink alcohol and are not party people. We celebrate like geeks, and that’s how we roll.
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