Darrell Huckaby - Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

"Fast away the old year passes." Boy, I'll say. Weren't we just here, saying goodbye to 2007 and looking forward to '08? Sure seems that way to me.

I am sure I probably closed out the year by making a list of public resolutions. Wish I could remember what they were. If I could I would be happy to own up to the ones I didn't keep - as long as I could gloat over the ones I did.

Can't though. My hard drive crashed about a month ago so I can't call up anything I've done - or at least anything I have written about - for the past four years.

Bummer. And my own personal memory crashed a long time ago. Maybe that will be my first resolution for 2009. I hereby resolve to back up everything I do on the computer.

Yeah. Right.

But even though my old thinker skips a beat every now and again, and sometimes misses the whole danged tune, there are still a few memories from the rapidly disappearing year worth reflecting upon. My hope is that by sharing my memories I will rekindle a few of your own and that we will all have fun in the process. After all, that's my main purpose in visiting with you every week. At least I think it is.

A lot of my memories are centered on my kids, of course. Now you want to talk about watching time fly before your very eyes! The last time I looked, all three of my children were adolescents, arguing incessantly over the most insignificant things and trying their best to collectively beat their daddy in Trivial Pursuit every time we all found ourselves at home together long enough to pull out the card table and play.

Now I have three grown children - who argue incessantly over the most insignificant things and trying their best to collectively beat their daddy in Trivial Pursuit every time we all found ourselves at home together long enough to pull out the card table and play.

I keep hoping that one of my children will eventually graduate from college before the third one gets in. So far the end is not in sight. Big sigh, here. Whoever said "nothing is forever" didn't know about Pharmacy School at UGA.

So 2008 will be remembered for the Magical Grand Gathering at Walt Disney World in June, a close encounter of the inbred kind at the Georgia-Kentucky game, a wind-blown last ditch effort on the Plains of Auburn and lots and lots of text-messaging in between, punctuated by an occasional summit meeting around Mama's kitchen table and the aforementioned Trivial Pursuit games.

On a personal level, I made friends with a whole new state this year. Texas. Or at least the portion of the state that bleeds maroon and believes in Texas A&M. I practically became an honorary Aggie this year, and can't wait to renew old acquaintances during the next calendar year.

I also made some wonderful new friends right here at home in the Peach State - like the entire 4-H organization.

I will also remember '08 as the year of the trifocal. I got mine in February and staggered around like a drunken sailor on shore leave for about six weeks before finally getting adjusted to the new-fangled things. Now, of course, I wonder how I ever got along without them. They are the first thing I reach for when I get up every morning and the last thing I take off when I go to bed at night.

This was the year that O.J. and Brian Nichols finally got theirs, although both got off easy if you ask me - and this was also the year of the bailout, although I am sure there will still be plenty of folks standing around with their hands out after Father Time gives way to the New Year's baby Wednesday around midnight. And if that baby happens to arrive with a worried look on his face - well, that probably means he's a pretty smart cookie.

This year will be remembered as the year Sarah Palin flashed across the national political spectrum. It remains to be seen if the first time was also the last. It will also be remembered as the year politicians from various states around the nation gave comedian Jay Leno so much fodder for his late night jokes that he cancelled his retirement plans - and even arranged to go on an hour earlier so more Americans could have the chance to laugh at our celebrities and elected officials.

Beyond all else the year 2008 will be remembered for the historical election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. I didn't support his election in any way, but I hope and pray that he becomes the greatest leader our nation has ever known, because if we ever needed a great leader, the time is now.

Happy New Year, y'all. May it be the best yet!

Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.