NEARLY A HALF-CENTURY AGO, I celebrated the turn of the year (and a turn of the decade) with a trio of friends and a pair of boxes of pizza, which I lazily left in those boxes when I put them into the oven to reheat. We were at the home of one of those friends, and his parents had thoughtfully repaired to an upstairs room before the clock struck twelve.
In fact, it seemed like an appropriate way to kiss off the ’60s, which we, in our mid-teens, barely had the chance to enjoy. We’d do better in the ‘70s, when (at least) we’d all get laid.
Those New Year’s celebrations would continue to accumulate, of course, in a variety of forms for me. One of them found me stuck in a snowdrift with a friend whose antique Imperial met its match in some snowy Connecticut back roads. I spent many of them in restaurants as a waiter or chef, pouring champagne or banging on kitchen pots as the calendar flipped. That was work under battle conditions, and you bonded closely with your fellows.