The scene of New Year's Eve is a rare portrait of a unified mass of people celebrating and welcoming the hope of a new year. As a child, it's a concept that is hard to comprehend. However, as you get older, the hope of a new year IS something to celebrate. It is an enigma in the hustle and bustle of adulthood, and for a moment everyone, everywhere was cheering on 2010.
In Montgomery, the air felt crisp and colder than a typical Alabama winter and the full moon was fading in and out of the clouds. There was a gaiety all around and the festivities around the city were just beginning. At Clyde's Bar and BBQ, located on Watchman Drive, the tables were set with hats, masks, streamers, and party favors, awaiting the crowd to costume themselves in celebration. The news was playing in the background, panning through the masses in Times Square awaiting the countdown. The theme of the evening was "The Black and White Masquerade", and BPM, a local reggae band, was arriving in black tuxedo pants and white button-up shirts, casually untucked.
After the first set, just before midnight EST, the bartenders were passing out clear cups of champagne for the first toast. In New York, the snow was coming down on the crowd of people awaiting the countdown. The glistening ball was slowly descending, and everybody in unison, in Montgomery, in New York, was yelling- FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE, HAPPY NEW YEAR! The champagne was flying into the air, hugs and kisses were being given and received, marriages were proposed, babies were being born- it was a magical moment to end what TIME magazine called "The Decade from Hell" and what others called the "Year of Hate" for the Obama administration.
The band played enthusiastically for another forty-five minutes, and had another intermission just before Montgomery's true new year. Again, the bartenders chaotically filled glasses with champagne to the now packed bar, and again everyone awaited the countdown. The band comes up to the microphone, begins the countdown, proposes a toast, and for the second time, the bar is filled with celebration. This time, the band does not begin to play immediately, as a young man approaches the microphone and asks the bar to please be quiet for a moment. There was a definite intensity in the air, as he nervously fumbled for the ring, and asked his love to marry him. The couple joyously embraced and kissed, as everyone cheered and toasted their new engagement.
It was truly the definition of a New Year, or as George Lucas would say, A New Hope. A moment in time where everybody, everywhere was celebrating. Good luck to 2010 and let's cheer on 2011!