2016 has been a notoriously unfriendly year.
We’ve lost many great people including David Bowie, Harper Lee, Johan Cruyff, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, and Gwen Ifill. Our election was notoriously divisive and sometimes downright tacky and ended up with an electoral college victory for an arrogant bully who enables all sorts of prejudice and hatred. Add to that the Zika virus outbreak, Brexit, the Orlando massacre, murders by police and murders of police officers, rumors of scary clowns, and other disasters, wars, and terrorist attacks too numerous to name.
So for Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to make a list of some of the good things to happen in 2016:
- Bernie Sanders becomes a prominent leader of the American Left
- David Bowie died but not before releasing an excellent final album, Blackstar
- Boston Public Schools high school students lead the way in protest against crippling budget cuts
- Wild tiger populations are rebounding
- Leicester City becomes the first club not in the “big 4” to win the English Premier League in decades
- Bartolo Colon hits a home run
- The new Ghostbusters is really good
- The Juno spacecraft arrives at Jupiter
- Stranger Things debuts on Netflix
- David Ortiz’s fantastic final season
- Unite Here Local 26 goes on strike for food service workers at Harvard, and wins!
- Cubs finally win the World Series
- Massachusetts Ballot Question 2 resoundingly defeated preventing unlimited expansion of privatized charter schools
- Leonard Cohen died but not before releasing an excellent final album, You Want it Darker
On a more personal level, I’m grateful for the following things:
- attended the Harris Hill Ski Jump competition
- my mother returned to her childhood home in the Bronx, moving into a charming apartment in a lovely neighborhood, and we visited New York often
- related to the above, we became members of the Wildlife Conservation Society and frequent visitors to the Bronx Zoo
- Peter’s baseball team scored 18 runs in the last inning when they were down by 14 (they lost the game anyway, but they were so proud)
- I got an iPad
- we went to lots of Major League Baseball games at Fenway Park and Citi Field. Both the Red Sox and the Mets made it to the postseason.
- we rode the Codzilla speedboat in Boston Harbor and saw hip-hop dancers and fireworks at Christopher Columbus Park
- Peter and I had a great ride in the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon
- I got my first digital SLR camera
- Visited Canobie Lake Park three times, and Rye Playland once
- I lost my keys in a park, but the Boston Park Rangers found them and I was able to retrieve them
- Both kids started attending the same school and we have one drop off and one pick up!
- Got to be a history geek with the kids at Old Sturbridge Village and Plimoth Plantation
- Led 31 Boston By Foot tours, my favorite for a couple of women from Toronto who told me that the first thing they did upon arriving in Boston was going to the Warren Anatomical Museum
- Processed some big and interesting archival collections at work
Those are some things to be thankful for in 2016. Let me know what you’re thankful for in the comments.
In the meantime, let’s sing along with Arlo Guthrie.