Reflections: My changing perspective of New Year’s Eve


By Evelyn Long - Morrow County Sentinel



Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve heralding the new year, 2016. There will be parties and other events in celebration topped off with the dropping of the ball in Times Square, New York City.

I don’t recall observing the holiday in any way while growing up but when I was a teenager and later when dating, we would go to a midnight movie, sometimes at the Capitol Theater in Mount Gilead, or one of the theaters in Marion. That would be followed by a visit to a dining establishment. My New Year’s Eves were very tame- even after I married we would join other couples to play cards until the stroke of the midnight clock and after a toast or two, it would be off to home. Sometimes we would attend the dances at the American Legion Post Home, held at the post hall, which was until 1981, above the Independent Office. Rebuilding after the tornado, the hall was constructed at its present site and the dances were very popular with people packing the room. As happens so often, things or times change – or people change, and there no longer any New Year’s Eve dances there. In even later years and today, I try to stay up to see the ball drop at Times Square, barely able to keep my eyes open. I learned the ball drop at Times Square first happened December 31, 1907 and has been an annual occurrence except for 1942 and 1943 due to the wartime blackout.

At this point I turn off the TV – perhaps I hear a celebrant shooting a gun somewhere – then it’s to bed, with prayers that I reach another year.

I did make a few resolutions – one is that I want to bring you some history on the Peck House, one of the finest ever built in Cardington.

I also want expand on the Peck Furniture Factory, from where finely built furniture was shipped to places across the United States.

Cardington and Morrow County have also been the site of many unusual happenings and my resolution is to describe some of them.

Because it was 200 years ago that the year of 1816 was titled the “Year With No Summer,” I hope to bring more information on that.

Meanwhile, I extend my wishes to each of you for a safe and pleasant New Year’s Eve followed by a healthy and prosperous 2016.

100 years ago: A O Tucker, president of the Hydraulic Press Co and the Mt. Gilead Pottery Company, died at a hotel in Chicago. His death was due to acute indigestion and stomach trouble. Born in Mt Gilead, he had spent many years in England representing his brother, Dr. Nathan Tucker, of Mt Gilead. He had come to Mt Gilead to straighten the affairs of the Pottery Company. Mr Tucker was buried in London, England.

Participating in the Christmas program at the ME Church in Cardington were little Opal Haycook, Janet Moccabee, Hazel Jones, LeRoy Smith and others.

60 years ago: Joe Sheckler, who had at one time, photography studios in Galion, Cardington and Mt Gilead, had produced a motion picture “Tropic Zone,” which was being shown in Galion. He had closed his local studios to take a position on the faculty and with photographic research at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois.

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By Evelyn Long

Morrow County Sentinel