So Hard To Believe

I have shaken more hands this year than I ever have in my career.

It is so hard for me to believe that another year has come and passed. I have shaken more hands this year than I ever have in my career.  Of course, it wasn’t really me, it was Almost Andy, a fictional character I created who looks amazingly like Andy Griffith.  I tried to be polite and kind to everyone I met.  I posed for so many photos and I waved to the crowds and although I didn’t really know what to do or why I was doing it we all seemed to have a lot of fun.  I made some new friends and made an effort to keep on good terms with everyone I know. I wrote reams of new comedy material and tested it and I was thrilled and amazed when, here in Hillsborough, I managed to do two wonderful performances and my aging memory did not get in the way of things. It felt so good and heartwarming to see so many genuine smiles on so many faces.
My wife, Jean, is becoming more loving every day and I am beginning to realize what a blessing she is in my life.  In just a few days I will be 81 1/2 as a child might describe it.. or almost 82. 
New Years Eve will be the 55th anniversary of the night I quit smoking . At 12:01 AM, 1955 as I sat behind my set of drums playing with our band , The Silvertones, as we were playing at the Polish-American Club in Hamtramck,Michigan that song  Auld Lang Syne, I removed the cigarette from my mouth, threw it on the floor, took my foot off my high sock pedal and stomped it out. At that time I had a three pack a day habit and that was the last cigarette I ever smoked. 
I wonder what I might give up this year. So many vices; so many choices.
I wish you all a happy, prosperous, safe and joyful new year.  And may God bless you all.

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