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"Resolved": article draft by Roosevelt Fitzgerald




1980 (year approximate) to 1995 (year approximate)


From the Roosevelt Fitzgerald Professional Papers (MS-01082) -- Drafts for the Las Vegas Sentinel Voice file. On New Year's resolutions.

Digital ID



man001041. Roosevelt Fitzgerald Professional Papers, 1890-1996. MS-01082. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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OCR transcription





Today is the fifth day of January. I had such plans for this year. I don't know now if I'll be able to achieve them or not--and I mean any of them. Less than a week ago there was all the buildup leading up to celebrating the beginning of a New Year. I never do anything myself but I am well aware of all the doings all over the place. Many people seem to feel obligated to get involved in the frivolities of the time. One needs only turn on the television to see, from coast to coast, the crowds of people who join together in cheering the New Year in.
Two images seem to permeate the nation. There is that of the old year, represented by a grizzled, gray headed, grey bearded, bent over, white man who steps aside for the new year, represented by a pink-cheeked, cherub of a white male baby. As far back as I can remember, those have been the images of the old and the new. Perhaps it is suggestive that some things just don't change.
Now don't get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against old white men or little white babies.' For me to have such an attitude as that would make me no better than the racists which I despise and I’ll never become that which I despise. Still, I would think that in a pluralistic society such as our's that from time to time there should be black, brown, red and yellow characters representing the old year and the new year. Actually, I think it would be great to sort of mix them up—old year going out being white, new year coming in being black and, waiting at the gate for next year, studying the past and the present so as not to make the same errors in the future being a Hispanic thought waiting to be conceived. If we were to have something like this, there would be less opportunity for anyone to have to ponder on, year in and year out, why it is that the image of the year is white male.
During World War II, General George Patton was reprimanded for having slapped a soldier. Part of his punishment was the loss of his command and
his removal from the arena of battle. During part of that time he was reassigned, far behind the lines, to England. While there, he was called upon to do a talk before a group of English ladies at a "Doughnut Dugout" where his topic was something along the lines of post war Europe. It was an interesting talk. He spoke of how after the war the Americans and the English would be dominant. His aide, recognizing the faux pas, whispered to him; "Don't forget the Russians General. Don't forget the Russians." He forgot them and the Russians were furious. Ike was furious. The State Department was furious. Just about everybody was furious because he had forgotten the Russians--not to mention the French, Irish, and other European allies. We can all learn something from this. You know how you feel when something occurs and you're left out? Other people feel the same way. You've got to be able to see that. Anyway, each time that I am made aware of General Patton's talk at Knutsford, England’I pause to reflect on the value of not being overlooked nor of overlooking.
The buzz words are "Father Time." Seems to leave women out. On the other hand there is "Mother Nature." That leaves out men. I wonder who ever thought up these concepts? With the social fragmentation which has been going on in human relationships, especially for the past quarter century, one would think that by now we would all have gotten the message; everybody can be anything that they want to be and are willing to work for and they need no one's permission.
Oh well, what I was going to talk about was getting the year off to a bad start. There are many who put together New Year's Resolutions. These are usually lists of things that they plan to give up for the year.and thereby become better people. Generally, before the end of the month—if not the end of the first week--those resolutions are all fouled up.
In past years while I have not written down any resolutions I have had
a few in mind. I thought that was a safe approach because that way no one would know about them and if I failed in dislodging myself of those bad habits, well, no one would know. Of course I would know and, you know what they say; "To thine onself be true." I don't have that baggage. Like most people, I can lie to myself just as well as I can to a stranger. Actually, I don't call it lying. I call it living in an illusion. Reality, sometimes is fatally brutal and you need a cloud to hide away in.
There was one year when I thought about giving up some of that thickness in my waist. Didn't work. Then there was the year that I considered giving up the thiness in my hair. No dice. I was going to give up procrastinating but never got around to it. The year that I thought about giving up being so secretive, I saw a Charlie Chan movie which had an appropriate scene in it. It went like this. A San Francisco detective who was working on a case with Chan kept after him to share whatever information Charlie had. Finally, after being pestered one time tLVmany, Chan turned to the detective and asked: '"Can you keep a secret?" The detective quickly replied; "Yeah Charlie. Sure. Sure. To this Chan's comment was; "So can I." Well that did it for putting an end to being secretive. I was-concerned that if I shared all of my secrets no one would share theirs with me. Afteral 1, how was I to know if they told all. Then there was the year that I thought about giving up the few rights that I have left. I thought that I would let some total strangers decide when I should sleep and how much, what I should eat and how much, where I would go and when,
who I would date, who would be my friends and all of that. Then I thought,
those same strangers have already decided how warm I should be, where I can
smoke, how much chlosterol I should have, when to water my lawn, not to burn my wood burning fireplace, what is art and what is not, not to make any tapes available for my Beta Max and that I have radon seeping into my house. Well, enough's enough.
This year I'm not giving up anything. Instead, I'm going to start doing some new things. I just remembered--it is very difficult giving up old, bad habits. We sometimes waste our lives away trying to overcome them and to no avail. Why not take the easy way out? Why not begin some new and good habits. With that in mind, the following are my few new yearns resolutions which, already, I've gotten behind on but, fortunately, with such new positive things, it is never too late to begin.
To be a little easier on myself than I've been in the past.
Not to expect to receive better treatment than I'm willing to give.
To accept the fact that while most others think they're always right, that I, unlike them, am not God and is oftentimes wrong.
To recognize my limitations.
Not to be apprehensive of the fact that I will die but to glorify in the fact that I have lived
To pl ay more pool.