Once again, here is my annual list of things I hope — but don’t necessarily expect — to see in the coming year:

  • More people reading the print newspapers. 
  • More civility at all levels of government.
  • More portobello mushroom fries from Ashten’s, crepes from Betsy’s, veggie pizzas from SoPies — and Grand Slam breakfasts from the Pine Crest Inn, served by Tammy. 
  • A more sensible, sensitive and simple solution to the thorny problem of what to do about the now- deposed Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. (I don’t know what the answer is, but the proposal to build a $5.5 million hall to house the racist relic was simply ridiculous. And the overly partisan, combative positions taken by some members of the university system’s board of governors have just added to the problem instead of helping solve it.)
  • A realization by our president that constant tweeting is a decidedly unpresidential way of communicating with the people of America.
  • More wine. Less beer. (Unless it’s a bottled-on-the-spot jug of Pithy IPA from Southern Pines Growler.)
  • Once again: More people discovering the stimulation to be found in acrostics, which are similar to — but much more fun and demanding than — crosswords.
  • More hours devoted by me to things like reading and writing. Fewer spent watching endlessly repetitive hours of TV news.
  • While I’m on the subject: A better performance than I chalked up last time in fulfilling my New Year’s resolution to read at least one measly book a month. (This is going to be a special challenge, since the volume I’m starting with, Andrew Roberts’ much-praised “Churchill: Walking With Destiny” — a valued Christmas gift from my son Ben — is just under a thousand pages, not including the index.)
  • More opportunities to speak Russian — which tend to be rare locally.
  • For us in the choir at Emmanuel Episcopal Church: More opportunities to sing pieces like Vivaldi’s glorious half-hour “Gloria,” which we performed on Christmas Eve under the able leadership of Homer Ferguson. Lots of notes. Lots of joy.
  • A new tenant in the former El Vaquero building at the corner of Broad and Pennsylvania in Southern Pines. Why has it sat vacant for so long at such a prime location?
  • More adoptions of rescue dogs and cats — especially black ones. 
  • A concerted effort to get “Bicycle Man” Earl Wright the national recognition he deserves for the annual Project Santa effort, in which he gives away a great many used bikes that he has spent the year reconditioning. Maybe a CNN Heroes Award?
  • Greater attempts at journalistic objectivity on the cable news networks. (Yeah, right. Don’t hold your breath.
  • More birdhouses, bird feeders and birdbaths appearing in people’s backyards. 
  • A decision to move either Thanksgiving or Christmas to, say, June — so they won’t be crowded so close together. Just kidding.
  • More live theater at the Sunrise.
  • Fewer people — none, actually — texting or checking their emails while barreling along the highway at 70 mph. Dumb.
  • And last but certainly not least: a terrifically fulfilling 2019 for you, Dear Reader.

Steve Bouser is the retired editor and Opinion editor of The Pilot. Contact him at bouser@email.unc.edu.

(2) comments

Mark Hayes

" a racist relic " , was that even necessary ?

Jim Tomashoff

Steve, I'm reading Walking With Destiny at this time also. Churchill's mind was incredible, an amazing memory coupled with the great gifts of clarity of thought and expression. Yes, at nearly a thousand pages it's long, but Churchill himself often devoted several volumes for his books, surly testing his reader's devotion to the subject at hand.

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