OPINION

New year, better times ahead

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Cocktail in hand, I always sang “Auld Lang Syne” along with the crowd as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.

We’d raise our glasses and toast to a fresh 365 days that we hoped were prosperous and filled with happiness.

Kind of appropriate, isn’t it?

But do you know the origin behind the 18th-century tune?

Standard English translates the lyrics into “Old Long Since.” Old friends gather for a drink and recall adventures from long ago. Ironically, there’s no reference to a new year.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind. Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne.”

There’s a lot I’d like to forget about 2020.

I’m sure you agree with me.

We had to pause the 150th anniversary of Mount Olive celebrating its town charter.

Town officials canceled the NC Pickle Festival.

Sports were temporarily suspended and then canceled.

Students and teachers concluded the 2019-20 school year behind a computer screen. They adapted to a hybrid plan during the fall.

The pomp and circumstance at graduation significantly changed. Classmates saw each for the first time since mid-March, but had to sit six feet apart and wear face coverings.

Unfortunately, we expect education to continue along a similar path when the new year begins.

We’ll have sports on a scaled-down version, few parents in the stands and possibly see pauses in schedules due to COVID-19.

The biggest positive for me was Jan. 8 when I became assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. I’m forever grateful to have the opportunity to work in my home county again.

My editor, Emily Weaver, and my co-worker, William Holloman, and I plan to continue to provide good, quality community news for our readers.

We’ve received positive feedback and will incorporate some ideas that you have suggested.

This newspaper would not exist without your support, whether you’re a subscriber, advertiser or follow us on social media. We need you more than ever in 2021.

On Jan. 1, we get a clean slate.

Let’s work together to make it a great year for our community.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.

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