As we go to press with this, the last issue of 2006, I'm feeling a bit reflective. I cruised over to the magazine archives and plucked last year's December issue from its spot, and began strolling down memory lane, one page at a time. I came across our wish list for the city that ran in that issue, and was shocked to discover just how far we haven't come in bringing most of those dreams to fruition. Children did get left in hot cars this summer. Litter still blows like so many cellophane leaves across our city streets. Infill is still rampant in East Memphis. The Pyramid is still lonely, as is the Overton Park Shell. And the list goes on.
Call me greedy, but I have an even longer list this year:
I hope that Nancy Pelosi and W will put their differences aside and work to better our country. I hope the manatee made it to warmer waters unharmed. That the newly elected politicians back up with actions all their campaign promises. That no more of our historic buildings are destroyed by fire or any other means. That the members of First Methodist keep the faith while they rebuild. That hurricanes steer clear of all our coasts. That the Tiger football program can turn it around next year. That no more dead people vote. That our parks and other public areas are maintained better than they were this year. That people stop calling 911 to find out if it's going to rain later. That the folks at Smart City, Live From Memphis, and other creative types keep plugging away. That the good people at Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Esquire keep producing first-rate publications each month. That everyone reading this publication calls 521-9000 to give it as a gift for friends and family this year. (Do it now!) That the award-winning principal at Snowden Elementary proves to be an inspiration for other school principals. That Tim Sampson runs for mayor. And wins. That we never attend a Broadway play in the Home Depot (or any other name, for that matter) Orpheum. That Memphians learn what a blinker is for. That our soldiers get the support they need to do their jobs. That young girls stop looking up to the likes of Paris Hilton. That the makers of Head On never produce another commercial, and that John Ford is through reproducing. That reality TV goes by the wayside. That gangs and neighborhood rivals stop shooting at one another over imaginary territory lines. That teachers, police officers, and firefighters begin getting paychecks that better reflect their value. That I never have to blog for a living. That children stop having babies they can't support. That the seats at the MSO, Ballet Memphis, and all of our theaters are full each night. That the construction on 40 and 240 ends one day soon. That the skinny jean craze dies. That the Zippin Pippin doesn't become the world's most expensive kindling. That Craig Brewer never moves out of town. That I never have another kid come to my door and say "trick or *&$%! treat!" on Halloween and collapse into a fit of giggles. That we find a better way to fuel our cars. That whoever hit my car and drove off feels really, really bad about it. That the Church Health Center, MIFA, and The Food Bank are first and foremost on our minds when we consider charitable giving.
But most of all, I hope I never run out of hope.