Thoughts about the best, worst of 2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Goodbye, 2005, hello 2006. In many ways, a lot of us are probably pretty glad to see the back of a year that brought catastrophic storms at home and a continuing war abroad.

I’ve been mulling over my own personal list of the highlights and lowlights of 2005. To paraphrase the incomparable Charlie Dickens, &uot;it was the best of years; it was the worst of years.&uot;

Katrina: a lovely name for a vicious storm that took an unimaginable toll on the psyche of our nation. Separated families, missing relatives, entire towns laid flat.

Homes, possessions, jobs, sometimes pets and loved ones, gone.

Of course, a human tragedy like Katrina brings out the slimy underbelly of chiselers, price gougers and con artists who always surface when such a catastrophic event happens.

The malcontents, who are always looking for a reason to act out, whether it’s a trial verdict they don’t like or the actions of Mother Nature, showed their true nature in the mayhem after the storm.

That’s the ugly side of it; thank God, it’s far from the total picture.

The worst of times also brought out the best in human beings in 2005. Witness the outpouring of compassion from the many good people from all walks of life in our own community, our county, and from countless other communities across the nation and the world in response to Katrina.

In a day when small southern towns are still seen as fair game to lampoon, Greenville absolutely shown as an outstanding community, a true gem, with national news networks taking note, no less.

What do you think now, Senator Feingold?

The most unforeseen event of 2005, for me, was being part of the &uot;My Kind of Town&uot; audience. It’s not everyday I get to fly to New York on a chartered jet, get wined (well, soft-drinked) and dined, appear in the audience of a game show slated for a major network, then fly back home – all in the space of one day. OK, so we didn’t score major ratings.

We all won a very nice prize (a $1,600 scooter, no less), gave eight million or so people some good laughs – and certainly had a day we will never forget.

My strangest moment would have to be the cold and creepy night the Jeep got stuck near McKenzie (if you missed my misadventures in south Butler County, browse through my old columns via the Internet). And, of course, there’s the time the dog ate my seatbelt…

One of the sweetest moments of the past year for me was, certainly, the birth of my niece’s little girl, Abbigail Nicole Lambert, in May. After losing my dad and mother-in-law in back-to-back years, it was such a welcome and exciting event, having this new life come into our family in 2005.

I can easily relate to her mom Heather’s words: &uot;She’s a bright spot in my life every day.&uot;

We all need those bright spots, don’t we?

Here’s wishing you many of them in 2006. Happy New Year!

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at