Let’s shut down 2018, a doozy of a year

The Catoosa County News - - EDITORIALS & OPINION -

Many peo­ple have de­scribed 2018 as a ter­ri­ble year. Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est polls, the only thing Amer­i­cans agree on is that Amer­i­cans do not agree on any­thing. At the top of that list is The

Wall. This was also the year there seemed to be much con­fu­sion about whether Amer­ica’s for­mer en­e­mies are now al­lies, and vice versa.

We also ar­gued about fake news, Robert Mueller, global warm­ing, Pres­i­dent Trump’s tweets, Stormy Daniels, col­lu­sion, North Korea, Roseanne, Kanye, Comey, Putin, tar­iffs, and kneel­ing NFL play­ers.

The midterm elec­tions will be re­mem­bered for a nasty Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion bat­tle, and even nas­tier po­lit­i­cal com­mer­cials. In many cases, the nas­ti­est can­di­date won, en­sur­ing we will see even more such ads in 2020.

Look­ing back, it’s hard to get sen­ti­men­tal about a year that brought us hur­ri­canes, wild­fires, floods, vol­ca­noes, tsunamis, bombs in the mail, jour­nal­ists killed, school shoot­ings, scan­dals, Face­book spy­ing, Amer­ica’s “fa­vorite Dad” Bill Cosby be­hind bars, an un­sta­ble stock mar­ket, and a White House with a staff turnover rate higher than most fast-food places.

Each year, we mourn the loss of loved ones, even those we don’t re­ally know. We lost mu­si­cal icons like Roy Clark and Aretha Franklin, who had both been ail­ing. When Aretha sang “You Make Me Feel Like a Nat­u­ral Woman” at the Kennedy Cen­ter Honors a cou­ple of years ago, we were re­minded of how a great en­ter­tainer can bring the house down.

We were sad­dened by the deaths of those we watched in our liv­ing rooms, and on the big screens. Burt Reynolds’ rugged-but-charm­ing per­sona kept us en­ter­tained for decades. Penny Mar­shall’s “Lav­erne De­fazio” would do any­thing for a laugh, and then she turned her at­ten­tion to di­rect­ing some out­stand­ing movies.

We lost lead­ers like Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush and Sen­a­tor John Mccain, who had both been strug­gling with health is­sues in re­cent years. The trib­utes we heard at their me­mo­rial ser­vices de­scribed men who fought for our free­dom, and then came home to lead our gov­ern­ment with a spirit of com­pro­mise and deco­rum. We also lost for­mer first lady Bar­bara Bush, who stayed “down to earth” even at the pin­na­cle of power.

We said good­bye to Ten­nessee 3rd Dis­trict Con­gress­woman Mar­i­lyn Lloyd, a trail blazer who won ten con­sec­u­tive terms on the Demo­cratic ticket. Iron­i­cally, her fa­vorite pres­i­dent was “Bush 41,” a Repub­li­can. She too, prided her­self on coun­try above party.

The voice of col­lege foot­ball for my gen­er­a­tion was Keith Jack­son. The mo­ment we heard him speak, we knew we were about to see the big­gest game of the week.

Billy Gra­ham, “the preacher to the pres­i­dents” died this year at 99. He couldn’t last for­ever, although we be­gan to think he might.

I have met only one ma­jor league base­ball um­pire, and he passed away in 2018. Doug Har­vey was so good at his job, play­ers re­ferred to him as “the voice of God.” He spent his post-re­tire­ment years vis­it­ing schools. He urged young ath­letes to avoid chew­ing to­bacco, cit­ing his own bat­tles with throat can­cer. He told me if he con­vinced just one kid to kick the habit, it was all worth­while.

2018 was also the year self-driv­ing cars hit the high­ways, Saudi Ara­bia fi­nally al­lowed women to drive, and wa­ter was dis­cov­ered on Mars.

Smart­phones were priced at a thou­sand dol­lars, at the same time Ap­ple be­came the na­tion’s first tril­lion-dol­lar com­pany. Clint East­wood made an­other movie, mak­ing ev­ery­one un­der the age of 88 feel re­ally lazy. Keith Richards some­how made it to 75, giv­ing us all hope. Canada le­gal­ized mar­i­juana for recre­ational use, re­new­ing the call for more states in the US to do the same.

My fa­vorite story of the year was this one. A Nor­we­gian flight from Oslo to Mu­nich had to turn around due to a busted toi­let. Iron­i­cally, there were 85 plumbers on board, fly­ing to a com­pany con­ven­tion. You would think these plumbers could take a crack at re­pair­ing it, but af­ter seek­ing clues to the mal­func­tion, they re­al­ized they had noth­ing to go on.

On a per­sonal note, I’ve been blessed with good health, and a ter­rific fam­ily that makes me smile each day. I work with some great peo­ple, and my faith in them is af­firmed con­stantly, when I meet folks who tell me how much they ap­pre­ci­ate our work.

This col­umn is now car­ried by fif­teen news­pa­pers. I’m grate­ful for each of them, and the re­sponse I get from read­ers.

2018 was a year like no other, and I have a feel­ing 2019 will be a doozy as well. Here’s hop­ing our wounds will heal, and our moods will brighten. Yes, we have our prob­lems, but there’s still no place on Earth I’d rather be.

David Car­roll, a Chat­tanooga news an­chor, can be reached by mail at 900 White­hall Road, Chat­tanooga, TN 37405 or by email at [email protected]

David Car­roll

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.