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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

As I sit down to write my end of the year summary for 2015, I realize how quickly things can change in the space of just a few days. I am still going to summarize my 2015, but I am probably going to hold off on any grand plans for 2016 just yet. The only plans I can confirm for 2016 is a lot more writing than I did in 2015. I find writing to be therapeutic, and guys like me can always use more forms of therapy.

I am always amazed at how many firsts I experience, even at my advanced age. In 2015, I got to experience the first Christmas where my wife and I were able to just bury our grandchildren in gifts. To me, it isn’t about the gifts. It is about the reaction, and it is about my never-ending quest to make sure that my grandson plays with toys that are not called XBOX. My three-year-old grandson had gift overload, at first, to the point where he just kind of lost interest. But when his father and I started putting his new toys together, he was all in. The one-year-old still has that look of “Hey man! Whatever you want to do!” in his eyes and I just love that kid.

Myself, my wife, and my son made lots of plans together as a family in 2015. Most of those plans will be taking place in 2016, but it is still fun to make plans with the people who are most important in your life. It was also fun to see my mom’s reaction when she opened her Christmas gifts and saw the first two installments in my attempts to repopulate her Beatles vinyl record collection. Needless to say, it is always fun to get a big positive reaction out of mom.

The rest of 2015 was kind of a blur. Some good things happened, and some bad things happened. We got to see the first ever Junior A hockey playoff series when the Express hosted Wilkes-Barre, and we ended the year with probably one of the best Christmas parades this city has had in years. Hockey Day in Lockport was pretty amazing, and I am starting to get the feeling that this city wants to come together and be the kind of place people want to live in again.

No matter how hard people try to make Lockport a better place, the crime is still here. Towards the end of 2015, the crime in Lockport is on the rise and it is a strong area of concern for everyone. Anne McCaffrey was elected to her first full term as mayor, and I sincerely hope that she tries to do something about the crime that is infesting our city.

For myself, I was happy to finally get some things done towards advancing my writing career that I had been planning for a very long time. There is something satisfying about finally being able to put plans into motion that you had been formulating in your head for years. I have my framework in place to host my writing work, now I just need to add some writing work and promote it.

We started to see encouraging signs in 2015 that lead me to believe that 2016 won’t be so bad. For me, the best sign I saw was all of the construction activity going on at Widewaters. I really miss that place and it looks like the new owners are serious about getting the burgers sizzling as soon as possible. It is difficult to beat the feeling of having a Widewaters’ burger and some curly fries down by the canal. If there ever was a truly Lockport experience, that would be it.

All in all, 2015 wasn’t terrible. As is the case with every year, 2015 could have been better. But I don’t have that much to complain about, and I do feel like I am set up for a decent 2016. But as time goes by, we learn how fragile everything really is. I am hoping for the best possible 2016 and will do what I can to make that happen, but you just never know what the fates have in store for you.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident who doesn’t remember much about 2015. You can follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at

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