And so 2021 has arrived, still dragging some of 2020’s tragedies, absurdities and challenges with it, but full of hope for better days ahead.
Bright and early on Dec. 17, we set out down State Road A1A, asking folks in the 10 Coastal Star communities from South Palm Beach to Boca Raton about their hopes and expectations for this new year.
A sampling of what
people are saying:
South Palm Beach
“I’m hoping for health to everybody and for the vaccine to work well, because I lost my grandfather to COVID in April, on Good Friday. And I’m looking forward to going back to my boarding school in New Jersey. They closed early, so I’ve been away since November.” — Lisa Patalano, jogging down South Ocean Boulevard
“I’m just hoping for peace. My friend’s a sheriff’s deputy in West Palm Beach and my daughter’s a 911 dispatch operator. I just want everyone to work together and get along. We’re all in this together.” — Maria Wells, with Teddy, a Yorkie, and Buddy, a poodle mix, at the Dune Deck
“I’m hoping the media will develop a positive mental attitude and stop feeding us all that garbage. And the consumers stop buying it.
“If it’s a negative news story, don’t click on it. I don’t even watch the local news anymore. I’m afraid to turn it on.” — Tom Sparks, finishing breakfast with his wife, Linda, at John G’s in Plaza Del Mar
“Things will probably continue on the same as 2020. The vaccine is kind of wait-and-see for effectiveness. They’ve had test trials, but I think all the experts have been baffled. It’s still unproven. “I’m looking forward to the sunrise. That’s a certainty.” — Ronald Wong, fishing off Boynton Inlet pier, where the fish weren’t biting
“I’m looking forward to an end to the whole coronavirus pandemic, but I expect it will last a few years, even though the vaccine has come out. And I’m curious to know what Biden is going to do next. What difference is he going to make?
“But personally, I just moved here from Virginia, so I’m looking forward to purchasing our first home.” — Lisa Alix, on her regular morning bike ride along Old Ocean Boulevard
“I’m hoping to be a bit more calm than I’ve been in 2020 — for so many reasons.
“The absence of the tension I felt about everything COVID, I really feel hopeful to be able to survive another year and travel again. My partner and I had cruises scheduled.” — Bob Smith, strolling the town
“Oh, my God, I’m hoping for so many things. Probably first, we get our arms around the COVID, and the political turmoil gets put behind us, and we find some semblance of cooperation.
“Personally, I just want continued good health for my wife and kids and grandkids. You know, you can always get a job, but if you’ve got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, nothing else matters.” — Bob Burns, with his wife, Sally, on their morning walk along Gulfstream Road
“For 2021 I’m hoping that the government doesn’t tell me what to do. I want to eat in a restaurant, sit at a bar, work out at a gym, have some normal social interaction.
“It’s about finding the balance between being safe and acting crazy.” — Morgan Toner, from her lounge chair on the sand
“I want more travel freedom next year, but it’s going to be like this at least until September. It’s going to take a long time to get enough people vaccinated. What’s the population, about 320 million? Think about vaccinating 1 million a day, and that isn’t happening. It’s going to take time.” — Jeff Cohen, walking Cleo and Ollie, his Bouvier des Flandres dogs, on Highland Beach Drive
“I miss people being able to go outside. I was hiking the Appalachian Trail around Rangeley, Maine, this year, and it was pretty much empty. I’ve hiked about 1,200 of the 2,200 miles of the trail, and this year all the hostels were closed.
“You can’t shut the world down. Locking yourself inside and throwing away the key has never been the solution to anything.” — William Riddle, with his skateboard at the beach pavilion by Palmetto Park Road
Interviews by Ron Hayes,
Photos by Tim Stepien/
The Coastal Star