New Years Eve Failure or Not

New Year’s Eve Failure or Not?

Last night, 12/31/14 Bum & I went to a local bar for a New Year’s Eve Celebration that failed but was yet a great time.

Our daughter Megan and her husband Marc invited us (Bum & I) to join them at Classics Bar & Grill in Advance NC, right down the road from where I live. Normally we do not go out on New Year’s Eve, but thought this would be fun to do, so we agreed.

We got there at 7 pm and there were less than 20 people in the bar. The table area was nearly completely empty.

After ordering a round the waitress told us that the restaurant was going to close at 8 pm. We all laughed at what we thought was a joke, but, Nope, she was serious.

On New Year’s Eve, the only local bar, positioned in a community that is poised to explode over the next few years and they are closing early on New Year’s Eve.

This seems to be a New Years Eve Failure

While we laughed at what we considered a business failure here is what else happened:

Repeatedly one lady in the bar kept playing music on the digital jukebox. Each time she swiped her card in the credit card slot she appeared to be twerking with the jukebox.

Yeah, yeah, I know people dance in front of jukeboxes all the time. This was way different.  She appeared to be twerking on the jukebox. We were laughing so hard more than one of us snorted at the table. Later we discovered it was one of the bar owners.

When ordering another round of beer we thought about ordering a beer tower. The price was not too bad and Courtney would put our favorite beer in it. However, since the bar was closing in less than 1 hour she suggested that we not order a beer tower. We agreed. 10 minutes later the table behind us ordered one and had it delivered. We laughed thinking there was no way 4 people could drink 12 beers in less than 30 minutes. We were wrong.

An older guy walked up to our table and wished us a Happy New Year. While talking he said he had two wives and had owned two expensive homes, neither of which he still had or lived in, yet his ex-wives were very happy in “them thar homes.” He said he now lives in a hotel room.

I wished him better success in 2015. He came back later and in the chat, I told him Bum and I were still married after 37 years. He was so excited, cajoled us into standing up and hugging him. Later on, we saw him dancing with an older woman up near the jukebox. Our barmaid told us it was his mother.

At around 8:30 pm, 30 minutes past closing time I wanted another beer. Our barmaid came over to the table to check on us. I told her I wanted another beer, but I would not order one if she wanted us to leave. She looked like she wanted us to leave, but agreed that because she had work to do in the back room I could have another beer. Megan wanted another margarita too.

We joked with the barmaid about a local bar wanting to close at 8 pm on New Year’s Eve. When I asked her what she was going to do after work she said she was going to go home and cook Bang Bang Shrimp. I asked if we could come over and she said yes. I’m a smart man. Bum was there and I knew the barmaid only wanted a bigger tip. She left laughing to get my beer. She came back with my beer but forgot Megan’s drink.

We finished up laughing and cutting up with the barmaid by about 8:45 pm. We were nearly the last people out of the bar. On the way out of the bar, we saw the sign on the doors. Handwritten on yellow ledger paper, “Closing at 8 pm New Year’s Eve.”

We didn’t get a chance to close down the year in this local bar, but we closed down the local bar on New Year’s Eve.

Normally if we were told to exit a local bar at 8 pm on New Year’s Eve we would consider it a New Years’ Eve Failure. However, everything else that happened that night made it somewhat successful, ie – funny.

My Crab Feast going away party

I eventually got involved in the plumbing, electronic programming, and production line design & build.

After the plant was built, I ended up being the assistant plant manager. It was a cool job because of the dynamics and diversity.

I have lots of stories from working at Neutron Products including Chocolate Cheese. I worked with a lot of good people. We had a good time while making pretty good money for the late 1970’s & early 1980’s.

I left Neutron Products around 1986 to start my career in computers and technology.

My fellow employees got together and planned a picnic as my going away party.

I looked at a Google Maps view of Neutron Products. The Table is still there

Everyone pitched in so we could buy bushels of steamed crabs, hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, and all of the other stuff needed for a summer picnic, going away party.


There was no public drinking of beer at this party. Regardless, we had a blast. Laughing and joking and recalling all the stuff we had done over nearly the past ten years.

  • Playing poker at lunch until it got out of hand and Jack shut us down forever
  • Kozi’s coke machine going berzerk and spewing out all of the soda bottles
  • Learning how to paint from Old man Walt Snyder (no railroad tracks boy!!)
  • Falling in the Cobalt-60 tank and believing I was going to die immediately
  • Nailing myself to a wooden pallet with a nail gun
  • Getting married
  • Learning Computers, Lotus 123 & Dbase I software
  • Buying my first motorcycle
  • Dealing with the belief that Cobalt-60 radiation was contaminating the town
  • Wrecking my first motorcycle
  • Buying my first new car
  • Wrecking my fourth or fifth car
  • Going drinking with Deore, Stump & Joe.
  • Crashing two tractor-trailers into each other
  • Christmas Parties of the pre-1980’s (PARTY!!)
  • Drinking beer alongside the road at 2 pm or 3 pm each afternoon.
  • The Lottery Winning Failure of 1980.

Times were different back then and so was the way we celebrated them. We all laughed and joked as we recalled these and many other stories of working at Neutron Products.

I’ll never forget the Crab Feast party at Neutron Products. It was the best going away party ever.

Burail vs Cremation Version 1

Personal Disclaimer – The story below is my personal opinion about burial for me. I am sure that many people will have a differing opinion, and this is good. However, my opinion will apply to the last activity that I perform while on this earth.

I accepted years ago that when I die there is yet one more activity that I must be a part of. Popular tradition in America is for this final activity to be either burial in some form of Grave Yard or cemetery, or cremation and some form of ash disposal. I have decided that I want to be cremated.

Burial never really excited me for lots of reasons.

The Cost – an average Funeral with a viewing, embalming, grave side services, funeral procession, etc, costs a minimum of $9,000 plus a $2500 casket – this is a whopping $11,500 and I don’t want to have that much money left over when I die.

Funeral Homes – I have attended a few funerals in my days and I have never enjoyed being there. After each funeral we would go to a family members home and have a far better time remembering the recently departed, telling stories that we have not heard in ages and laughing and crying together in a much more relaxed and enjoyable setting. At the funeral home we were somber and quiet, yet for no good reason other than we were in a Funeral Home.

Open Casket – There is no way I can possibly look as good, or better than the last time you saw me. Even if you have seen me pretty messed up after a hard work out on the treadmill, falling down drunk at FNH (never) or on a seriously hot day working in the yard. So, for me, why would you want to see me laying in a casket.

Embalming – For me, I see no good reason to have a mortician pump me full of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol and ethanol. I will not need to be preserved for a viewing.

Grave Yards or Cemeteries – I personally am not a fan of using up good real estate for dead bodies. Now I understand the desire for family to know where their loved ones are when they pass this world; however I think in our Flat Global world, there are plenty of places to place yourself for that Final resting place, without consuming good real estate. More on this later.

Now, I agree that I have a very blunt and different opinion on this then most people; however here is the final activity that I would like to perform in this world.

How I want to do it

Knowing that I have no idea when or how I will die, I want to be cremated. I want my best friends or family to arrange this activity in the following manner:

Contact a local Crematory and have them come get me. They can use a pickup truck or if needed use the one that I am leaving behind. No need for any fancy containers, trays or boxes. Put my body in some good old fashion Glad yard waste bags and then drop it on a pallet. Double or Triple bag if you think this is necessary.

Take my body to the Crematory and slide it into the fire. No need cleaning out the Crematory before you put my body in there, I’m not too worried about any cross contamination or diseases. Remember, I am dead and once you fire up that cooker, the likelihood of any diseases surviving are nil.

Run the cooker at 100% for as long as the law requires and until you are sure that my body has been returned to 100% ashes. Please, no left over logs or heavy briquettes. Fire up the cooker if needed. The ashes must be very fine.

Once the cooker cools down, use a shovel (from the garden will be fine, no special shovel needed) and scoop up my ashes and put them into a empty 5 gallon paint bucket. If you do not have one available, check out my garage. I have a bunch in there.

Give the bucket to one of my best friends or daughters. They will take care of my ashes from this point.

Now, I am assuming that I will still be in North Carolina when this event starts out; however if not, then you will need to alter these next steps some. I do not want this bucket hauled more than 100 miles from where I die, but I expect that you will take it to Smith Mountain Lake at this point. If I died somewhere else, then pick another lake closer by.

Get one of my buddies to loan you a fishing boat and boat out to the middle of the lake. No Pomp & Circumstance here – just a simple action. Dump the ashes overboard. If anyone asks, tell them you just cleaned out the barbecue grill. I repeat, no Pomp & Circumstance needed here at all. OK, maybe a picture of the ashes floating away. Use a hi-res camera.

Now go home. The next step will take about 1 week to put together.

Get my contact list and send an email to everyone in the list – Everyone. Exclude no one. This list includes friends, family and business associates from as far back as 1980. Invite them to the house that I expect to leave behind and tell them to bring enough simple food and drink to last them about 6 hours. Tell them what day to arrive and let them know that this will be a party.

I expect everyone there to leave knowing something new about me that they did not know before. I don’t care what they learn, because it will by no means be anything that will tarnish anyone’s opinion of me. At least, I am fairly sure about this – Sike, I’m 100% sure of this.

On the day that this party starts, get everyone to take a plain piece of paper and write down their name, how they know me and the title of a story about me that others may not know. They can write down something I did or said in private, public, business or family. Anything, no holds barred. Remember, my reputation will not be tarnished.

Collect the papers and then have everyone take turns telling their stories about me. Randomly have each person tell their story. For those who are not comfortable telling the story, get one of my toastmaster buddies to do it for them. Embellish as much as you want, just don’t tell any lies. The truth will be amazing and enjoyable enough. Believe me, I know.

I expect a few tears and some somber faces during this party, fool be me for saying that this is not allowed; however please do yourself and everyone else a favor, get thru it quickly. You’re going to ruin the party.

This event can go on for as long as the group wants. No restrictions or expectations. It may last a few minutes, or as long as a few days. I expect that if all of the stories are to be told, it will last about 6 hours, and be unforgettable.

When the party ends, I want everyone to remember where I am. I will be floating around in Smith Mountain Lake. I will be in the plants and trees around the lake. In the bass and stripper that are fished from the lake and then in the fish dinners eaten afterwards. I will become part of Smith Mountain Lake until the end of the time.

That’s it folks. I expect that the total cost of this last activity will be about $1297.53, excluding the food and beer which I am sure my buddies will provide. If needed, get Becky to write you a check. I will make sure that this amount is left in my Allegacy account.

I will gladly entertain any comments or suggestions about this plan prior to my death. Afterwards, I expect that my wishes will be granted, for the most part.


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