On The Silly Side by Jimmy Del Ponte
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)
Did you wake up with a splitting headache Tuesday, January 1, 2013? I didn’t, but that’s not the way it used to be.
How has the whole New Year’s Eve celebration thing changed? Well I can only speak for myself and some of my Somerville friends. I can remember playing in the band at the Dilboy Post in Davis Square and going home with a ton of leftover Chinese food including gallon jugs full of duck sauce. I recall a certain New Year’s Eve at The Embassy Lounge on Somerville Ave. that ended with the Police Department’s van escorting some patrons to jail. But that was the old days when we were younger.
We had that party instinct and we had more energy than we knew what to do with. We planned and waited anxiously for what was known as “amateur night.” We weren’t as careful as we should have been back then and a lot of us were lucky to have made it home safely.
We had some odd New Year’s traditions when we were younger. Sometimes we would rent a hotel room and fill the tub with ice and beverages. Some would actually do midnight laps around Trum Field to celebrate. There was always a package deal at the now defunct Faces disco on route 2. You could ring in the New Year with hi-balls and disco balls. Getting a room at the “crappy hotel” next door was part of the Faces experience.
The Willow, Decos and O’Brien’s in Ball Square were hot party spots too. The Powder House Pub had action as well. For about 6 bucks you could join in the all you can eat New Year’s Eve festivities at Bo Bo’s Chinese restaurant in Ball Square. At the other end of the city on lower Broadway, Khoury’s State always had a smoking New Years Eve shindig. A pal recalls one New Year’s Eve at the old Duffy’s (then Choices), which was Jasper’s at the time. A brawl started in the joint and spilled out onto Bow Street. After a few minutes the boisterous party people ended up fighting back at the club. It was sort of a walking tour of the Union Square area! Talk about your noisemakers.
Once I went into Boston for First Night. It was the “first night” I actually thought I was going to freeze to death. No thanks. Many times we would just stay home and order Chinese food from Yee’s Village or Golden Delight on College Ave. I almost forgot to mention that we watched The Three Stooges Marathon. That was a tradition. Lots of Somerville families would just sit around the TV watching the ball drop in Times Square. Those times were fun and simple.
These days I was lucky to have stayed awake until midnight. I actually nodded out a few times! There was no more booze and no more having to try to quit smoking. Most of all there were no more hangovers. We watched some Stooges, some Dick Clark (RIP) and ate bacon wrapped scallops.
I have learned that resolutions don’t always work out. When you hit a certain age, you are what you are so just get used to it. Sure I’d like to resolve to stop getting angry in traffic. I’d like to try to be more patient when joggers hog the sidewalk. I wish I could clean my house more and toss out some clutter. I know I’ll never learn to manage money so forget about that. Here’s one for you. Let’s all resolve to try to enjoy life while we are still here and keep this in mind. Stop worrying about everything and hug your loved ones more. Have fun and relax. Stop and smell the flowers. (Get that scowl off your face tough guy!) Congratulations, you made it to another year. I hope it’s the best one yet.