Well, another New Year's Eve is now behind us, and the famous ball high above New York's Time Square has dropped the 141 feet in 60 seconds yet again, heralding the beginning of another year. While most of the world is no doubt quite aware of this annual event in the heart of midtown Manhattan, one is sometimes prompted to ponder to how many people have actually experienced the dropping of the ball in-person.
The tradition of the ball drop at New Year's Eve in Times Square actually began 110 years ago, with the 1907-08 holiday season, which was instituted by Adolph Ochs, who at that time was the publisher of the New York Times. Prior to that, he had used fireworks to herald the beginning of each new year at the newspaper's headquarters at 1 Times Square.
To date, there have been a total of six balls used over the past 110 years, with the original one being five feet in diameter, constructed of wood and iron, and illuminated with 100 incandescent light bulbs. The original ball was manually hoisted up the pole by a team of six workmen, and weighed 700 pounds.
The line for the Waterford Crystal cocktail reception queued along 42nd Street to the private elevator lobby. The photo at the right would be the author polishing the Waterford Crystal panels with a flourish using his pocket square. No Windex, however.
All of this is to say, that the Times Square Ball has a rather interesting history, and is frankly worth checking out if you get the opportunity - but not on New Year's Eve.
For me, I prefer a quiet New Year's Eve, normally in the solitude and comfort of my own home. I like to reflect on my blessings of the closing year, and to plan for the new year in a way that will allow me to improve as a human, and to make the most beneficial, productive use of my time - as our tomorrows are never guaranteed.
Parties with good friends are always great. But for me at least, not on Amateur Night - which occurs regularly on December 31st.
And so, to all of my family, friends and readers, I wish you all a healthy, happy, safe and prosperous New Year, filled with all of the blessings life can bring.
© 2018 David Nogar All Rights Reserved
David Nogar worked in railroad operations for almost 50 years until retiring from the transportation business in early 2023.