Ah, wasn’t life simple then? The biggest national concern was Y2K, and that almost seemed secondary to the excitement of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to witness a new millennium dawning.
Now, the first decade of the 2000s is nearly done, and what a different world we live in now. People and events making an impact since then include Barack Obama, Osama bin Laden, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004, the deadlocked 2000 U.S. presidential election, the New England Patriots, and Web 2.0.
I’m a pack rat as far as retaining news clippings, pictures, etc. And my above shot of the Jan. 1, 2000, editions of the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register (I was working at the Register then) showed that Boris Yeltsin stole the show as the clocks turned on the new decade. And this pic shows the look of CNN.com in those days.
And for me, it was the most eventful 10 years I’ve been through. Maybe that’s standard for those of us lucky enough to keep getting older in good health. Still, I don’t think I’ll ever compile more meaningful memories in a 10-year span. In no particular order, my top five events of the past decade. (I’m sharing them now before everyone gets absorbed with Christmas presents and the BCS.)
— Moving back to Atlanta: Hardest decision EVER, after 12 years in The OC and 22 in SoCal. Few big decisions are open and shut, and so it was here. But being a UGA grad, it made sense at the time, especially since I’ve visited and kept contacts open during all the years. The collapse of the SoCal real estate market since then is some solace for missing beach time in the winter.
— Cruises to Mexico: I took three — 2003, 2004, 2006 — and each was memorable. Being in a floating city with no cell-phone use is the ultimate getaway, and you could feed a small country with all the food on board. Mexico is a beautiful country, but very poor. The magnificent scenery and culture is mixed with the tragic sight of children selling trinkets to cruise-ship passengers as they go to and from the city in Ensenada. It gets worse than the US, folks. (Honorable mention: two trips to Las Vegas, including one to see Celine Dion.)
— News media changes: My career was forever altered after the 9/11 terror attacks and resulting ad downfall forced massive downsizing at the Register, as well as other papers and industries. The silver lining: I and others had to use other talents. I proved I can pass the difficult Series 7 licensing necessary to be a stock broker/financial planner,and I got two company-paid training trips to San Francisco. Who knows, I may get back into it someday, and I can effectively write about it.
— California as visitor: It was a real tonic to go back to the Golden State this month for the first time since moving away. Dismal headlines and TV reports do not tell the whole story. Sunbathing in November and being able to watch TV shows after “Monday Night Football” are things you can’t do just anywhere. And I knew all the right spots to hit in Newport Beach for a gooey cinnamon roll and Christmas gifts for family.
— Becoming a new media aficionado: This is somewhat different than the previous media category. When a door closes, another opens, but no one is sure which one. I’ve gotten heavy into social media since returning to Atlanta in 2007. I even spoke on a social media panel that the AJC assembled in March for newsroom personnel, and CNN has included my Tweetup videos in news coverage. Everyone likes recognition.
That’s all for now. It would be interesting to hear others’ memories of the past decade, and I plan to offer some predictions for the coming years.