• 75°

Remembering the year that was 2009

What a year it’s been! So much has happened around the country, around the state and even around our towns.

Locally, we’ve gone through the bankruptcy of one business and the birth of others.

We have seen growth and development at our schools, and will soon witness heartache as our local National Guard unit deploys in two weeks.

I was fortunate to be the bearer of good news for much of the year, like the great amount of scholarships awarded to students of the state’s smallest district, Linden. I also reported on the passing of Kenneth Lackey, the manager of the newly-located CTCO Shipyard just days before the facility officially opened.

In fact, there have been a number of deaths of significant people in my life, among them Patty Horton, Dr. Earl Perret, Drew Johnson and classmate Johnny Ferri.

Among those three alone, I came to appreciate knowing those who found culture and intellect in our little town, and those who carried faith and good humor in caring for others.

I also came to appreciate how life can last a long time for some and a short time for others, and for a while, at least, I could appreciate my own mortality and assess my life accordingly.

On Thursday night, we will ring out 2009 and ring in 2010. Another calendar filled with blank pages that we will only be able to read once those days have passed.

What will come in the year ahead? Our perspective after the previous years has changed somewhat.

What would make for a good year, after all? More jobs for our people? More stability in our commerce and housing businesses?

For me, happiness is the bellwether for success. Not wealth or fame, not awards or rewards. There has been a lot of unhappiness nationwide and around the world in 2009, and my prayer is that the people who drive our nation, our world, will find ways to make more people happy. It’s a simple thing to ask for, I know, but so hard to find.

We’ve got another full and unclaimed year ahead of us. Join me as we begin the adventure, the quest and the drive to make 2010 a good year for us all.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of the Demopolis Times.