The year 2013 began on a Tuesday, will end on a Tuesday and dodged a couple of Friday the 13ths on the back pages of the calendar.
It came and went so quickly there must have been rockets strapped to its shoes. Resolutions and recaps could have been issued in the same sentence.
There were moments of personal triumph. I finished writing a book. I was best man in my sons wedding. I learned how to make comeback sauce and kept it in the refrigerator in a Mason jar for when I needed to rally.
I celebrated my 15th year as a columnist with stories about a ventriloquist, trolley driver, marathon runner, delivery man, grave digger, horseshoe pitcher, beauty queen and a guy named Cowboy who works at a gas station.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still use a dictionary. In one letter to the editor, I was referred to as the Telegraphs well-known and admired right-wing columnist. I am pretty sure those words have never been used together in the same sentence.
In the year 2013 A.D., I asked Big Mike to explain what is a Booty Papa. I spent an hour interviewing Del Ward in her living room, and she still wouldnt reveal the meaning of trodie-trow. Michelina Foster shared how she officiated more than 12,000 weddings at chapels in Las Vegas. Ever the watchdog journalist, I wrote about how Elvis still lives at Minton Lawn & Garden Center and Ingleside Village Pizza.
There were so many photographs of orange jumpsuits, I tried to bring a little levity to the left rail of page 1B. I rode in a parade. I kidnapped a Freddie Freeman bobblehead doll and held it hostage. I interviewed a man with an 11-foot tall tomato plant. (It later grew to 18 feet before Jack Frost arrived in the neighborhood.)
Stuff kept turning up in strange places. There was a salsa spill on Zebulon Road. Honeybees and Christmas hams tumbled from overturned trucks on the interstate. An alligator wandered into a backyard in east Macon. (It came out of hiding, like all those Auburn fans.) Mark The Magic Man Hulett took a $5 bill from me, folded it a few times, and turned it into a $1 bill. I asked him if he worked for the federal government.
If we didnt keep up with the weather page, how would we ever start a conversation? Gen. Beauregard Lee, Georgias resident groundhog, spotted his shadow on the second day of February, and it stayed chilly until almost the middle of May. It rained so much during the summer that I expected Noah to come floating down Hartley Bridge Road. Our readers shared memories of the 40th anniversary of the Great Snow of 73. When the spring winds kicked up, a friend asked what tornadoes sounded like before freight trains were invented.
I tried to take better care of myself in 2013, but admit I have been worried sick about health care. For the first time in my life, I went and got a flu shot. I also had a cortisone shot in my left elbow. I havent played tennis since 1995 and didnt watch a single minute of Wimbledon, but I still managed to come down with a painful case of tennis elbow. Go figure.
I made an effort to watch what I ate, too, although I still run on large doses of caffeine and gluten. I refuse to give up white bread on my sandwiches. When I tried to order a pepperoni pizza in east Nashville, I was informed by the waitress the kitchen had run out of mushrooms and black olives but that grapes and beets were available as toppings. Yet another sign the apocalypse is upon us.
I have no idea what is on the menu for 2014. I am hoping for plenty of excitement but would settle for some civility.
No point in reading tea leaves. Just bring it on.
Reach Gris at 744-4275 or email@example.com.