As we near the end of the year, let’s look back at some things said during the past year, many of them quoted previously in this At Large column.
David Letterman about his decision to retire: “I hear about things going viral and I think, ‘How do you do that? I think I’m the blockage in the plumbing. If you look around at the other people doing it and look at me, it’s almost like I’m a pair of shoes you haven’t worn in a 100 years. ‘Gee, I think we can probably get rid of these.’ I still enjoy what I'm doing, but I think what I’m doing is not what you want at 11:30 anymore.”
Dimpie Shah, Absegami valedictorian, at graduation: “Teachers serve as scapegoats for all of our problems in life. Homework, tests, and essays are stressful and may seem like obstacles to our happiness, but the people who assign them wish for our success. Teachers put so much time and effort into trying to teach complex concepts. It is true that some concepts we will never use in life again, but all knowledge is interconnected. What may seem like useless rocks of information may become rubies and gems tomorrow. Although we may not realize it now, teachers actually serve as tools of wisdom that are preparing us for the future.”
Gov. Christie during the recent Republican debate, speaking to how he would deal with foreign relations: “When I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan I will say to him, ‘You have a friend again, sir, who will stand with you to fight this fight.” The governor would probably not get much response – King Hussein died in 1999.
Former Ocean City mayor Bud Knight, who died during 2015, said this about a local controversy: “As a member of the City Council which imposed the BYOB ban, a little background: As you are all aware, Ocean City has always had a prohibition against the sale of alcoholic beverages. In the 1980s several restaurants were allowing guests to bring in alcoholic beverages and would provide camouflage such as frosted pitchers or glasses to diners who had brought in their own beverages. There was a vociferous outcry, because this practice violated the spirit of the prohibition of alcohol. After much debate and public hearings, a law banning BYOB was adopted, and periodically the issue resurfaces (usually around election times).
“One of the problems with the proposed ordinance is that it would be almost impossible to enforce. It tickles me that restaurant owners who bought their establishments knowing full well that we are a dry town and prohibit BYOB, seek to overturn the law. Ocean City is a family town, and among our attractions are a prohibition of alcohol sales.
“In this day and age when competition for the vacation dollar is so fierce, we must preserve everything that makes us unique. My advice? Don't sign the petition. The issue will die like many previous attempts to damage Ocean City's wholesome image.”
Elizabeth Sullivan of Texas, at her 104th birthday party, talking about her favorite soft drink: “I started drinking Dr. Pepper about 40 years ago - three a day,” she told a Texas TV station. “Every doctor that sees me says it'll kill you, but they die and I don’t, so there must be a mistake somewhere.”
Jon Bon Jovi during the Rutgers-Camden commencement: “Maybe you've mapped your life out: corner office at a Fortune 500 company, or a life in philanthropy, politics or even entertainment. Great. I say go for it. But if you haven't, that's OK, too. Don't be embarrassed by indecision. Life is a long, bumpy road, but that makes for an exciting ride. Choose a direction and if the road turns, turn. It's OK to map out your future, but do it in pencil."
Gov. Christie during another of those debates: “Even in New Jersey, what you’re doing would be called rude.” Why does the leader of our state persist in giving credence to the ridiculous stereotypes about New Jersey?
Dan, Abby and Amanda Jamison talking about their father, Dr. Matt Jamison: “Dad - your genuine personality, positive energy, constant support, and sense of humor has helped shape our family into what it is today. You have taught us to recognize and appreciate the things that matter in life, have a strong faith, and the importance of hard work and dedication. We can’t thank you enough for all that you do for each of us.”
Mike Randolph talking about Frank Sinatra and the book of photos by his father PoPsie. “It’s easy to stay in touch with Frank. His spirit is with all of us…when I’m editing my father’s photographs of him…when I’m playing his anthology of songs on the piano…when I’m listening to the Sunday broadcasts hosted by Sid Mark.
“It was Frank’s voice, his intimate posturing and his facial gestures that carried his lyrical rhapsodies to his worldwide audience. And it was PoPsie’s photographs that captured the memories in intimate portraits for the world to embrace forever.”
Sen. Jim Whelan on what makes him thankful: “I am very thankful for my family, my friends and the Atlantic Ocean.”
Hopefully the next year will include just as many interesting quotes.
People we meet: Jeanette works at Acme (the former SuperFresh) in Ocean City. She is friendly and very helpful to customers. And she wears the greatest hats, especially on holidays.
Words of Wisdom: “Half the people are below average.” (Humorist Garrison Keillor)
Direct reactions or questions about this column can be sent via email to Tom.Williams@catamaranmedia.com or posted below.
At Large can also be followed on Twitter at @atlargetw.