Originally created 01/02/00

City sails smoothly into Y2K

Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of.

-- Geri Weitzman

Let me tell you a story.

It seems there was a young Naval student being put through the paces by an old sea captain.

"What would you do if a sudden storm sprang up on the starboard?" the old salt asked.

"Throw out an anchor, sir," the young man answered.

"Well, what would you do if another storm sprang up aft?"

"Throw out another anchor, sir," he answered again.

"And if another terrific storm sprang up forward, what would you do?"

"Throw out another anchor."

"Hold on," said the captain, "where are you getting all your anchors from?"

The young man looked straight ahead and answered, "From the same place you're getting your storms, sir."

Well, we're sometimes like that old captain. We worry about the unexpected.

We fear the potential for storms and dangers on our ship's horizon and don't have time to enjoy the cruise.

All of that is a roundabout way of saying you should have joined everyone downtown Friday night for the big New Year's Eve party.

Man, if you had wanted to see Augusta and Augustans at their best -- here it was.

Children and families walking and playing along historic old Broad Street.

Young people listening to bands. Older people watching them.

And everyone pretty much as well-behaved as they would be at a neighborhood get-together -- this despite more than a month of ominous rumours concerning everything from street riots to racial confrontations.

But when the time came and the ball dropped, nothing really much happened except our city celebrated yet another new century on the river.

Surely, by now, someone has to acknowledge that the Richmond County Sheriff's Department, which each year smoothly handles the weeklong Masters Tournament, can adequately deal with a one-night street party.

When I left Saturday at about 2 a.m., the department reported only six arrests, most of which took place in a private establishment.

Surely, we have to acknowledge that for all the complaints we get about local political leaders and city government, there remain a lot of departments and agencies who know their jobs and how to do them.

We particularly have to realize that a lot of people who live here -- your friends and neighbors -- thought it would be good to give up their time on a very, very special holiday night to volunteer to help others enjoy themselves.

Finally, we need to thank the good Lord for the most uncommonly pleasant New Year's Eve weather in, dare I say, 100 years.

In the end, your town -- our town -- always seems to come through in the best and brightest way possible.

It's a tradition we should return to every New Year's. And every century.

ReachBill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107, or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.


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