2013.01.02 Taylor agrees to fill the gap

Written by David Green.

My son-in-law Taylor once made the mistake of volunteering to write a column for this space. Now he gets asked every time he visits.

Sometimes he comes through and sometimes he doesn’t. He probably gauges my apparent level of desperation. This week we had another Sunday night deadline. Desperate situation.

 By TAYLOR BALLINGER

2012 has been a wonderful year for the Ballinger family. Caroline is happy and healthy, we’ve had a chance to visit with many loved ones, the University of Kentucky won their eighth men’s basketball national championship, and we survived our annual holiday road trip from Louisiana to Kentucky to Michigan and (hopefully) back again.

This year, I got to watch Caroline take her first steps. I got to meet my nephew Ryland. And I got to visit new places with Rosie and Caroline. This year, I ran two half-marathons. I went to the Final Four. We took Caroline to her first LSU football game.

By the time you’re reading this, though, it will be 2013. 2012 is old news, so it’s time to look forward to the New Year. Consider this column my New Years’ resolutions mixed with some Nostradamus-esque predictions (mostly sports-related) for 2013.

In 2013, I will run a marathon. You read it here first, folks. Now it’s your job to keep me accountable. I don’t want to come back here in 2014 with the great shame of having not fulfilled a promise.

In 2013, the Cincinnati Reds will win the World Series. I’m no Miss Cleo, so this is less a prediction than a great hope and dream of mine. The Reds haven’t won the Series since I was a child, so it’d be nice for them to win one that I can actually remember. I know that I shouldn’t complain. At least I’m not a Cubs fan, right?

In 2013, we’ll get lots of visitors for Mardi Gras. This will be our second (and potentially final) year back in Louisiana, so I’m predicting an apartment full of Kentuckians and Michiganders for this year’s festivities. Book your reservations now.

In 2013, the Royal Couple will have a girl. Call it a Midwestern guest-columnist’s intuition.

In 2013, the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl. This may be more realistic than my Reds prediction. As a Packers fan, it’s pretty clear that there is a small window of opportunity for them to seriously contend for Super Bowls over the next few years. One thing I can predict with certainty, though: the Detroit Lions will NOT win the Super Bowl in 2013. Sorry, Lions fans.

In 2013, the world will not end. I’m going with history on this one. If the Y2K scare and the Mayan calendar didn’t get us, I don’t think 2013 will.

In 2013, John Boehner will take the title of “Most Overtanned Man in America” from Paulie D of “Jersey Shore” fame.

In 2013, our daughter Caroline will grow a full-blown mullet. It’s a Ballinger family tradition, and she’s pretty close right now. If we choose to not cut her hair for the next couple of months she’ll be all the way there.

In 2013, most fans will hope for both Alabama and Notre Dame to lose the BCS National Championship…and they’ll be disappointed. Two of the most hated programs in the country playing for all the marbles. I’m picking Notre Dame, if only because I dislike them significantly less than I dislike Alabama.

In 2013, Rosie will convince me, yet again, that we don’t really need a nice television and cable. For the past couple of years I’ve wanted a new TV, and each time I bring it up Rosie uses the power of logic to convince me we don’t need it. I’m guessing her run will continue, and we’ll probably be better off for it.

In 2013, we’ll start seeing ads for the 2016 Presidential Election. At least we don't have a TV to watch them on.

In 2013, the Stanley Cup will be won by no one for the second time in eight years. There aren’t a lot of hockey fans where I live, so folks don’t really care, but isn’t it a shame that millionaires can’t come to a decent enough agreement for how to share their profits?

In 2013, I will continue my run as one of the luckiest dudes alive. It’s been such a joy watching our Caroline learn and grow, and I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and great group of friends. I hope you and yours have a very happy New Year.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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