Saturday, January 1, 2011

Celebrating New Year : O CHRISTMAS TREE

My first Christmas in New York had a first New Year, I arrived in late November 1966 so my first New Year was spent watching the ball dropped in Times Square. I took a subway to 42nd Street alone in the early evening. There used to be a Howard Johnson on Broadway which I stopped into to have dinner.Then I wander up and down the avenue as other people streamed in to wait for the big moment.The fascination of being joined by so many people who wanted to be in the same place.I was young the future was not part of my thoughts , just that moment. Excitement,exciting as more and more people all covered in the residual happiness of Christmas kept coming into Times Square for that last hour to celebrate.In my small southern city there were only two types of people black or white men or women.To be here standing on a corner gave you a chance to see the world past by.I think back in the day Times Square use to be called the crossroads of the world.

Funny thing crowds in New York have a mysterious savage energy like a cat or a child that draws you in because you never know what to expect, 99 percent of the time . I think there were one or three TV cameras maybe a little planned entertainment .What I remember most was people being squeezed together saying hi and giving hugs and kisses a human warmth coming from smiles. The anticipation as if we were going to see the year changed visually .then the count down , the screams,squeals of joy lots of kissing , lots of hugging people hopping up and down horns popping corks more screams of happy new year.Ten minutes later you say to yourself what happened here. I was alone,I was with everyone it like a colossal one night stand. I headed over to Tad's Steak House (steak and potatoes and all the trimmings for $1.99 )for a late nite snack and a cigarette.

Before 9/11 all of this changed the city became afraid of itself,it also found out the importance of branding so things changed a lot.Other new year stories other new years,later

Last night I spent eating Chinese off of English plates ,listen to French love songs drinking Pepsi lite out of Swedish glasses.I received a few calls wishing me a happy new year( thank you was good hearing you ) At 11:45 I turned on the TV to watch the ball dropped,I had a friend here to watch also we had a glass of champagne,ate 12 grapes and open fortunes cookies, my cookie said you have a strong and sensitive personal nature. I put it in a memory jar.My resolution for 2011 is be a kinder person ,to be happy and to try and share my happiness more.

These two photographs are part of O CHRISTMAS TREE .I have been waiting to show them to you the black and white image is by Debbie Fleming Cafferey it is a picture of her mother kicking up her heels at a holiday party.When I saw this image it maded me happy and joyous, I knew this mad moment loved it and contacted Debbie to ask if I could share it with you. The color image is almost like a Mad Man scene .It is a fantasy of how we want Christmas to be, put them together and you can almost ...

Anyway have a healthy,prosperous new year, be happy be zany .be good be better



  1. Happy New Year John!!!
    My loathing of giant crowds, and my claustrophobia would never allow me to do Times Square on New Year's Eve, but your experience sounds like a great one.
    Wishing you all the best in 2011, from my wife and me! See you soon.
    ray and katie

  2. it was easier then ... when you are young starting out all life is an adventure