New Years Eve…sure has changed!

On January 5, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


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.


11 Responses to “New Years Eve…sure has changed!”

  1. A. Moore says:

    The year I got married 1967 I also bought my first brand new car. On New Years it was supposed to snow and it did. We decided to play it safe and stay home as I didn’t want to have an accident with the new car. Woke up the next morning and here is my car in my driveway where I left it. Someone had hit my car in the driveway and took off. As for New Years now I can barely make it to 10pm. But next year always arrives even without my help.

  2. j. connelly says:

    What was really nice was that there were many affordable places in Somerville where you could go for New Years. What was even better was that you could walk to many of them and not have to worry about driving, thus it made it safer for you.

    There are places today but not as many. Yes when you look back those years were a lot bettah than today.

  3. A Moore says:

    Yup, there was always 2 or 3 barrooms within walking distance of most houses in Somerville.

  4. david lee says:

    Sometimes I was driving the Wagon!!!!!

  5. j. connelly says:

    I remember the Dodge “Paddy” Wagon the SPD had. Two of Somerville’s finest (Franny S & Jimmy B) had stopped by shortly after the new [FYPI*] “Mobile Detention Device” was put in service to show it off at the firehouse when they stopped for a cup of coffee. Within a month or two they came by again for coffee and showed us the “New Air Conditioning” that had been installed on the wagon. Et Tu Brute….a bullet hole in the side of the unit. [* For You Politically Incorrect].

  6. Jimmy DelPonte says:

    I always enjoyed living in the Davis Square area … because I lived within ” STUMBLING DISTANCE” from any number of bars in the Square …Sliggos, Barnabys, Johnny D’s Railside, Surrey Room…. the good old days before the ” bars” were full of whatever they are called with all the tattoos and silly hats …and peircings !!! ( nice people….. just different) I am showing my age !!!

  7. A. Moore says:

    And the other problem Jimmy is that now when we get up the next morning sober it is as good as it gets. At least with a hangover you get to feel better as the day goes on.

  8. George Parigian Jr. says:

    Jimmy, How well I remember those days. You are right, New Years Eve isn’t what it used to be. Guy Lombardo is gone, no more boozing, wild parties, ect. It seems like New Years Eve is just a formality, a footnote in the year’s events. I have lived in Somerville for 57 years at the same address, and seen many changes. It’s still a pretty good place to live and has everything you need and want, but as we know nothing ever stays the same, and I guess we just have to make the most of it.

  9. jimmy DelPonte says:

    What will our kids remember when they think about “the good old days?? The time the State Police helicopter shined a searchlight in their yard ???( that was pretty cool !!) Or the Yuppies who pull their kids around in little carts attached to their bikes???? or perhaps the unbelievable FIVE DOLLAR CUPCAKES SOLD IN DAVIS SQUARE???? The day the Green Libe came to Somerville should be a pretty good memory but my kids will be all grown up by the time that happens !!! Still…there is plenty to remember because just growing up in Someville is very cool !

  10. jimmy DelPonte says:

    Of course there is no Green LIBE …… There may , however be a GREEN LINE !!!

  11. A. Moore says:

    Of course there is no Green LIBE Sure Jimmy, have another one.

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