Olive Tree Genealogy is hosting 52 weeks of Sharing Memories – A Genealogy Journal. I don’t tend to keep up with the regular columns, or I haven’t in the past, but let’s see how I can do with some of them.
Week 1 is about New Year’s Eve traditions. I don’t have any other than making sure to stay up until midnight and watching fireworks on TV. I’m not even set on watching any particular show — though NYC used to be the show of choice. This year, I watched the local fireworks, partly because I follow Jenny on Twitter who works for the company that runs the best fireworks shows in Utah. She tweeted something about a seven minute show going off inside of 90 seconds. It was pretty cool.
So I’m going to write about a specific NYE, partly because it’s the only one I can remember where I didn’t just stay home. I’m sure there were others that I spent with friends at some point, but I can’t remember them right now.
It must have been my first year in college, so 1990. My parents were good friends with Victor and Eileen Nunberg, and I used to babysit their three kids for years. They were old enough by that year to watch each other, but my only option at the time was to hang out with them. And I was miserable. It wasn’t a good few years for me around the end of high school and beginning of college.
I didn’t have a cell phone, so I must have gotten a message on my beeper from my friend, Paul Auerbach. His parents were having a party. He was acting as videographer but he invited his friends to stop by. Many of them did just as they were told, but I stayed the whole night with nowhere better to go. I didn’t know anyone else there, and I’m sure I wasn’t at all social, but Paul would stop to talk to me, or his other visiting friends would too. Somehow I remember that night like it was one of the lowest points of my depression, but that invitation felt like it saved my life; it certainly saved the night.
Paul was always a happy memory for me from the first night I met him at Marcy Babischkin’s house. I first met Marcy in Driver’s Ed class at NMB Sr High. When I went back to find her again after I started college, I learned that her house was at the geographic center of her friends, so they would all gather there and go out together. I joined them many times.
The first night I met Paul, we got along terribly well. I can’t remember all the details, but we ended up sharing the brown chair. Does anyone remember those chairs on the infomercials where they were made to fit a specific person? Marcy’s father had one. Paul and I sat in it together. I think one of us got up for a drink or something and the other had taken their place, but it was not surrendered peacefully. Again, no memory how it happened, but somehow, instead of each of us crossing our legs, we ended up crossing all four together, and then we stacked up our hands on top of that, also alternating. Anyone else who stopped by that night thought we were old friends, or maybe more, but we had just met and sometimes you just get along with a person from the first moment.
And so that’s my NYE memory, with two back-stories to explain it. A depressing night during a depressing year, saved by a friend. Thanks Paul.