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Happy 2004 everyone! Let's hope it is a great year -- at least as good as last year and far better than some notoriously bad years. Like 46 BC.



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Happy 2004 everyone! Let’s hope it is a great year –– at least as good as last year and far better than some notoriously bad years. Like 46 BC.

The year 46 BC had a calendar unlike any other in all of Roman history, which all my Italian friends tell me is the only history worth talking about. Anyway, 46 BC was the year that Julius Caesar decided to reform the calendar in the following year, 45 BC. The reforms required, however, that there be 15 months in 46 BC –– the usual 12 plus three unnamed “intercalenary” months. One was placed between February and March, and two months were added between November and December. Of course they had to get this year of confusion out of the way before the Year of Our Lord, otherwise there would have been three full months of Christmas shopping between Thanksgiving and December 25, which would have bankrupted the Roman Empire.

I know a woman of a certain age, however, who wishes every year of her life so far had been 46 BC. That way, she would be turning 40 next year instead of 50. She should be thankful, though, that the Romans ditched the ten-month calendar they started with at the beginning of their history, otherwise she would be turning 60 next year.

There was no confusion at Christmas dinner at St Rose Church this year. Everything went like clockwork. The event brought a lot of people together from many communities, including a busload of Spanish-speaking migrant workers from Danbury. Peggy Baiad had a chance to practice her Spanish when she rode the school bus that picked up the workers and brought them to the dinner. Peggy started chatting with one of the men, asking him about his family, but the conversation took a turn she didn’t quite expect. He didn’t have a wife, he told Peggy, but he was looking for a good woman, if she was available.

Father Bob Weiss is leaving St Rose this week on a trip to India where an Indian priest from the Bridgeport diocese is setting up a new clinic. Father Bob is going to do what he does best: fundraising.

The moving van was at Bill and Liz Meyer’s house this week. After 35 years in Newtown, the Meyers are moving to Rhode Island, where they have owned a vacation home since 1975. Bill assures us that we haven’t seen the last of them; they are already planning frequent trips back to Newtown.

Bee copy editor Janis Gibson must be wondering why she slaved over a hot stove all these years, producing homemade pumpkin pies for her brother at holiday time. After Christmas dinner was over and she was packing up the take-home portions for her family, he commented that he really would prefer not to have any pie. In fact, he really did not like pumpkin pie. “He admitted the only reason he ate it all these years was because of the whipped cream,” Janis said ruefully. OK, all of you pumpkin pie haters who are out there suffering in silence, speak up! Or forever after hold your peace. And when it comes time to divide up the leftovers, say, ‘‘No, Thank You’’ and leave more pie for the rest of us to enjoy.

Well, that’s the last slice I’ll serving up this week, but I’ll be back next week with more, so be sure to…

Read me again.

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