New Years Eve at the Dockside with Steve Kozak and his West Coast Blues Allstars
Cheryl and me, New Years Eve 2011-2012
This is a memoir I wrote awhile back about New Years Eve. This year, to celebrate the year 2012, I went with my friend Cheryl to the Granville Island Hotel where my son Steve and his band, The West Coast Blues Revue was playing for their second New Years Eve in a row. We'd had such a grand time there last year that this year Cheryl and I decided to rent a room at the hotel for the night and really live it up. It was costly but great fun and we've already decided to do it again next year if Steve's band is asked to play there again.
For the last few years I've attended New Years Eve parties at the places where my son's band was playing, and in the company of good friends. So it has become a really fun event to look forward to.
This little memoir story is about other New Years Eves in the past, some of which were not so memorable or so much fun although I always tried to make the best of it, no matter what the circumstances.
ONCE UPON A NEW YEAR’S EVEI have both fond and melancholy memories of New Years Eves. In the old times it was one of the most anticipated holidays next to Christmas. You always had a new outfit to wear which was planned well in advance, something fashionable and spectacular to wear to the celebration which was often held in a night club or at a gala house party. I’ll never forget the year I’d made a gorgeous gold pois de sois two-piece dress. I looked fantastic. But when I arrived at the big party with several other couples, which was held in a big barn-like place on Grandview Highway, I was chagrined to find that another woman in the group was wearing a dress of similar style and material. I was crushed, but of course I had made mine myself so considered it be more ‘original’. I recall one new years eve when I was in my late teens, my girlfriend and I had been invited out by two American sailors to attend a show at the Cave supper club. My girlfriend had a new dress but hadn’t time to hem it so she’d pinned the hem up and all night long the pins scraped her legs until they were bleeding. After the show at the Cave, we tottered over to the Holy Rosary Church for midnight mass. I was in charge of holding the bottle of wine in a brown paper bag under my coat, and I distinctly recall dropping it in the back pew!
Yes, New Years eve was always a night of wild abandon and over-drinking. At clubs or house parties, when it turned midnight, you are supposed to kiss your partner or date, but all to often I’d find myself alone in a crowd of strangers while my boyfriend was off in a corner kissing someone else. I soon grew weary of these episodes. New Years eve began to lose it’s romantic appeal, and instead it became a lonely time, especially once I was single. Eventually I decided I’d rather stay home alone, if necessary, so I’d bring in some goodies: the makings for Welsh rarebit, oysters to fry, a few bottles of McEwan’s ale and a bottle of Heiken Trokel sparkling wine. I’d tell a few people my plan and wait to see who’d show up, and usually a couple of close friends would drop by. One of my most memorable New Years Eves was one I spent all alone enjoying my own company, dancing to my favourite music.
I’ve had New Years Eve’s abroad, far from family and close friends, that were still fun in their uniqueness. One time I remember my room-mate and I heading off to a big hotel for the night and on the way stopped to get a bite to eat at a pizzaria. We walked into a party of rowdy Quantas airlines crew who immediately embraced us and invited us to party with them. That was one of my best times, and it landed me a nice boyfriend for several months, so long as Quantas was flying in and out of town.
Now I will occasionally make plans to go out, if friends are going along and the price is right. Being with close friends, dancing and dining, is quite satisfying. It’s no longer to me the ‘romantic’ exciting night it used to be, but it’s worth a little celebrating especially if it’s been a good year.
New Years Eve at the Granville Island Hotel, December 31, 2011