One day not so long ago, when you said the year 2020 it was a far distant concept, way out in the future. 

No more. By the time you read this, 2020 will be a reality. 

Wait a minute. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we started 2019. Wasn’t it just a tick after midnight on New Year’s Day just a little while ago? Maybe just yesterday if it was that far back?

Earlier in my life, time didn’t pass this fast. I swear it took five years for one year to pass by. It seemed as though Christmas and birthdays would never get here, despite the fact every one kept saying they arrived once every 365 days. It took 40 forevers, plus one day, before you got old enough to drive a car or you reached the age you could officially graduate from high school and be an adult.

I didn’t understand it then, but Grandma Jones often repeated it: “Son, (the pre-adult years) are the happiest days of your life.” 

What no one tells you, is that something happens when you reach that milestone.

In addition to having to get a job, pay all the bills including the taxes -— and having to do your own laundry — time goes all haywire and goofy on you.

I never have been very good at math, but some of you number whizzes ought to check into that. 

Several years ago, I began this custom of sharing with you a few headlines I’d like to see in the new year:

National unity ticket emerges in race for the presidency: It happened once. Mr. Lincoln, a Republican, ran with Mr. Johnson, a Democrat, in that long ago time of national crisis during the Civil War. Maybe, we are there again. My fellow Americans, we can’t continue to be so bitterly divided, so tribal, so hateful to people who disagree with us and still be united as a nation. We need a “uniter” again – someone to bring us together. I look at the obnoxious whirling dervish in the White House and all the prospective candidates on the other side who are running for President and all I want to do is run in circles and jump up and down. Do you mean to tell me, folks, that of the 350 million people in this country, these are the best folks we’ve got? Surely, you are joking. Where are the Ronald Reagans and Harry Trumans of our time? I’m convinced the animated King Julien XIII of the Penguins of Madagascar could do a better job governing the country than any of the people currently running including the incumbent, who is, by the way, not at all a nice man.

I propose we have a Democrat like WV Senator Joe Manchin and a Republican like Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana. They seem to be sensible, decent fellows who can appeal to both sides, unite the country and tackle the issues we need to solve. I’m not hopeful. I figure the extremes on both sides will dominate the nomination process, leaving the moderates and centrists shaking their heads and wondering how did we go so wrong?

Talking heads on MSNBC, FOX and other networks have laryngitis epidemic: I use this one every year. I don’t wish any “ill” will on anyone, but I do wish the blithering idiots who make bazillions of dollars to give us their opinion and tell us what to believe, say and think would all just collectively shut-up. The opinions of Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews are worth no more than yours or mine. Why do we pay these loudmouths any attention? Debate, a civil exchange of ideas, is what makes this country great. However, the yelling and screaming and incivility you see these days just makes me want to hurl. Please just pass the Pepto-Bismol®.

Falcons, Dawgs, Braves and Bears have championship years: How about them Bears?  Wasn’t this past season a magical one for the Bears? I’m an Appling County Pirate alumnus and I just said that — in print and to be recorded in the archives for perpetuity. The atmosphere was great in Bearville this past year. I always thought Ryan Herring deserved the chance to coach here, and I’m glad he finally got the opportunity. How about the Braves? The Falcons, well, let’s don’t go there. They are as forlorn and depressing as my love life. And, the Dawgs? Doggone it. We just can’t seem to win the big one.  

“Snow blankets south Georgia.” 

Remember that magical day, January 3, 2018. Let’s do that again. I just want to look at it. Maybe build a snow man or act like a kid playing in it. I don’t really want to get out and drive in it. 

2020 is the best year ever. 

I’d like to eventually settle down and have a family maybe. I keep wondering if this will be the year. Oh well, let’s not go off into that deep subject. Instead, let’s hope for the best year ever.

Happy New Year!

• Jason Deal is a staff writer for The Blackshear Times. Reach him at