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Hopes and Wishes for New Year

Looking Back with Mathews, originally printed January 8 1979

 

Christmas 1978, that seemed so far away when the colorful leaves of October were falling, has come, and all too soon moved into the past; and the new year is now already nearly a half month old. Some people say that resolutions, like campaign promises, are made to be broken. I don’t go along with that, because it seems to me that the time of the changing of the calendar is a time to reflect on the past and hope for the future. I didn’t make any resolutions this year, but have a lot of fond hopes and good wishes. I hope that in the coming year I can continue to look back without appearing to be one who lives in the past. I think looking back is important, because the world needs to know that things like the New River Valley, Radford, Pulaski, Newbern, Ingles Ferry, and the Wilderness road didn’t just happen, but came about through sweat and blood of those pioneers who came here before us. The past is our proud heritage, and the future is our hope. So I believe in the future, and I believe it will be better.

For the world, my hopes for 1979 is that the riches of the universe will be used for the promotion of all good things, and that men can learn to live together in peace; that the skeptics who don’t believe in world peace might be proven wrong.

For the United States, I hope its elected representatives will be more devoted to the people who elected them, and less attentive to the pressures of the lobbies. I wish the government would spend a larger portion of the federal budget for the purpose of financing means of capturing energy from the sun. The result could be utter independence on foreign countries for our energy supply.

For Virginia, I hope we can keep all of our natural beauty, in spite of those who insist that the poor mistreated coal operators should be allowed to continue to scar the landscape and pollute the streams, with their millionaire-producing strip mines, without regard to the environment.

For the New River Valley, I hope 1979 will bring about the actual start of flow into regional sewer.

For Pulaski County, I hope we can manage some way to obtain federal grants of money, without having to hire a whole building full of people to bring it about. That we will soon be able to hire a county administrator, because a very wise man once told us that a man cannot serve two masters.

For families of these Appalachian mountains and foothills, my wish is that you will open more fireplaces, and set up more wood-burning stoves; that the forests will ring out with the sound of the axe, the maul, and the wedge, and the chain saw and the cross-cut; that families will find time to haul wood together, and gather before the warmth of the blazing fire, and declare television blackouts while they tell tales and play games, and pop corn, through the cold dark days of winter; that no more will we have to be reminded by power company officials that we are using too much electricity, while they hold threats of ecology-destroying dams over our heads.

And for the peaceful little Town of Dublin, it is my sincere hope that you will stay just as much like you are right now, as you have in all of the time past. We need more towns like you.

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