• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

Well, Santa has been to Midway and gone, so we are good until next year. I hope everyone had a great Christmas. This year’s Christmas weather sure didn’t enhance the old Christmas feeling unless maybe you’re originally from Hawaii or Florida. I hope everyone has set aside some time to check out the Christmas decorations this year. I took my Midway Woman’s Club winner’s list to be sure I saw all their award winners and it was time well spent. I know what the judges were talking about when they said they really had a hard time picking the winners. I have to admit I miss my buddy Zach Rankin, who used to live in Northridge Subdivision and helped my brother and me when we ran the theater. No one in the history of Midway could rig a set of lights like Zach. He was the winner of several woman’s club decoration awards. He didn’t care about awards but he did like to take a bunch of lights and light up and area. The lighting around town hasn’t been the same since he left Midway. Miss you, buddy. It is time to double check your New Year’s resolutions and be sure that everything on the list is reasonable. After all you don’t to start off the year with a bunch of failures. ••• One thing about growing up in a small town is some of the memories that stick with us after we have grown up. New Year’s Eve memories are no exception. Just one week after Santa made his visit to Midway on Christmas Eve, dad would wake my brother and me on New Year’s Eve, if we happened to be asleep. Just before midnight rolled around, we would be at the Midway Fire Station doing our own countdown to midnight. At midnight, my brother and I would take turns ringing the fire bell. At that time, there was a large bell on top of the fire station and a rope that hung down besides the building. At one time that was the only way to signal the members of the fire department that there was a fire somewhere in town. As Midway began to grow into the metropolis, an electric siren system was installed on the front of the building. If your house was on fire, all you had to do was make your way to the fire station break out the glass on the fire box and hold in the fire button until the firemen arrived and you told them where the fire was. There was one other option, as there was a number you could call that would connect you to Yount’s Tavern and someone down there could push a button from there and kick in the fire siren on the fire station. Remember now that Mr. Lewis Yount was the fire chief. It seems funny describing it now, but the system worked very well at the time. I can vouch for its effectiveness as it was the same system that was in the works when I tried to burn my tree in the fireplace and caught my house on fire. Anyway, back to New Year’s Eve: from the time I was six years old till the time I was in my teens, it was a tradition to ring the bell at the fire house. There were even a few years when I took my two little ones to ring the New Year’s bell. I really felt blessed to be able to ring the bell and thought that we were the only ones ringing bells. One night my dad took a turn at ringing and the rope broke, much to our disappointment. It was then that I discovered that we weren’t the only bell-ringers in town. Even though our bell-ringing rope was broken, there was some bell-ringing continuing just a few blocks away. I later discovered that Wendy Sharon, father of Midway council member Libby Sharon Warfield, had his family at the Midway Baptist Church doing the same thing that we were doing. It’s hard to explain to anyone, but memories like these are really pretty special. Along with these memories, there may be a moral to this story – Those who go off and ring bells on New Year’s Eve may end up on the city council together. Have a bell-ringing New Year’s!

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