What a way to end a millennium! 1999 started with the impeachment trial of President Clinton, a guy with no minor vices and no major virtues. Before it began there was much partisan bickering about whether or not he should be tried as an adult. He besmirched not only the Office of the President but also the pantry next to it. Since God didn’t destroy the White House, he should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. We continue to give money and drop bombs on foreign countries – sometimes simultaneously. Enough with the smart bombs! What we need instead are smart people – you know someone who can tell the difference between an antiaircraft unit and a foreign embassy.
On other fronts, Oprah was taken to court for insulting a cheeseburger, and, like OJ, got off scott free. Much of the credit for our booming economy goes to an unlikely hero, Fed. Chief Alan Greenspan, a man who is not given to irrational exuberance and who has the countenance of a basset hound with a secret sorrow. And there is a TV channel where some guy cooks in front of a live audience so desperate for entertainment that they give standing ovations to nutmeg. The lottery, a tax on people who are bad at math, continues.
Our big event of the year was Kathy’s marriage to Steve Parrott. It was a magnificent affair, due mostly to Kathy’s attention to detail and Sylvia’s project management skills. We used the occasion of having so many relatives and friends here to also celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. How about that? After Mike’s 6 months of surfing and travelling with Laura and Monica, he became VP of Marketing for a start up Internet company. Laura II started her own search firm. Things are going very well for them. Jill continues to work as a Children’s Minister and raising two boys. Laura & John work on their tennis games and are active leaders in scouting and all else that goes with bringing up 3 very active kids. As a sign of the times, as I stood in front of an ATM machine one day, I found myself responding to one of the grand-kids with, “I’m not downloading anything. I’m just getting some cash.”
With more free time, Sylvia and I have increased the amount of travel we do – usually to golf destinations. However, I still haven’t gotten the hang of getting cheap tickets on the Internet. After spending 20 hours on-line to find rock-bottom airfares, I sat next to a guy who got his for $10 less with one phone call. I play golf in pants with “Dockers” on them because some marketing guy didn’t think they would sell if the label said, “Pants for bigger-butted men.”
In Westlake Village we seem to be sheltered from the trials and tribulations of the rest of the world. We have only two homeless in town and one of them has a cell phone. We plan to celebrate the end of the millenium early – while we still have electricity. I was wondering the other day if the Dark Ages may have been a result of the Y1K problem. But I must confess that I’m just a little worried about the year 2000 problem. Not that computers will think 2000 is 1900, but that with Hillary in NY, Chelsea in California, and Vernon Jordan moving to Wall Street, Bill Clinton will be alone in Washington without adult supervision. Maybe in the new millenium, Southern California will be rid of traffic, smog, earthquakes, Roseanne and women in bib-overalls, (the only form of birth control approved by the Vatican).
I like Christmas, particularly Christmas Eve. With the preparations for the big day finally completed and the grandkids tucked away in their beds, the mood shifts to one of cheerfulness and anticipation – at least for a few hours the troubles of the world seem to get set aside. And of course, I like Santa Claus. It’s the only time of the year that you are allowed to believe in someone you know doesn’t exist. We even leave milk and Oreos for him.
Well, that’s it for another year. As Jesus said to the Cubs, “Don’t do anything until I get back.