The great poet Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’...”
If this most perceptive of all writers meant things can only get better, and we have something good to look forward to, it is appropriate for 2019.
First, though, a salute to some notables we lost: Penny Marshall, George H.W. Bush, Bernardo Bertolucci, Nicolas Roeg, Roy Clark, Stan Lee, Mac Miller, Burt Reynolds, Neil Simon, John McCain, Robin Leach, Kofi Annan, Aretha Franklin, Tab Hunter, Eunice Gayson, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Dwight Clark, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe, Margot Kidder, Verne Troyer, Avicii, Barbara Bush, Harry Anderson, R. Lee Ermey, Steven Bochco, Stephen Hawking, Billy Graham, John Mahoney, Ursula K. LeGuin, Dolores O’Riordan, Keith Jackson, Jerry VanDyke, Edwin Hawkins, Dorothy Malone, Vic Damone, John Gavin, Daryle Singletary, Clint Walker, Nanette Fabray, David Ogden Stiers, Susan Anspach, Milos Forman, Anne V. Coates.
All will be mourned and missed by a generation of history lovers, sports fans, readers, TV watchers and moviegoers.
Locally, Columbia County paid tribute to retired sheriff Paul Proper and Greene County said farewell to former Coxsackie village and town planning board chairman Lawrence J. Connolly.
It was a year of political turmoil at home and vicious terror attacks in America and abroad, the breakout of the #MeToo Movement and aggressive global trade policies that caused rifts between the United States and its allies.
Locally, the biggest story was arguably Democrat Antonio Delgado’s upset victory over Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John Faso for the 19th District congressional seat. Jobless rates fell in Greene and Columbia counties. Waterfront development in Catskill got a huge lift as the Lumberyard Center for Performing Arts opened. Significant films and TV series were shot in Greene and Columbia counties. The opioid epidemic showed no signs of weakening.
Ralph broke the internet. Marvel introduced us to a new Spider-Man and the Spider-verse. And “Black Panther” got Oscar buzz. That was 2018.
Happy New Year! And, as Tennyson wished, let’s hope for a better 2019.