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Hunker Down with Kes

That Was Yesterday and Yesterday’s Gone

By Kesley Colbert
Posted 1/4/22

Making New Year’s predictions was a lot easier when I was a kid. Hog prices, for instance, only had two ways to go: down or way down. It was near ’bout impossible not to get that one right. Only the brightest optimist or some newbie fresh in from Gary, Indiana, could forecast any other way!

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Hunker Down with Kes

That Was Yesterday and Yesterday’s Gone

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Making New Year’s predictions was a lot easier when I was a kid. Hog prices, for instance, only had two ways to go: down or way down. It was near ’bout impossible not to get that one right. Only the brightest optimist or some newbie fresh in from Gary, Indiana, could forecast any other way!

Elvis was going to have a hit record. Sure as shootin’. You weren’t out on any kind of limb with Elvis. It was just like declaring the dreaded Yankees were going to be in the World Series.

They never missed.

The Yanks were as automatic in the 1950’s as General Ike’s political career, Listen, if he ran for office, he was in!

Me and Ricky, Buddy and Yogi looked like geniuses year after year. And we did it with the same old prognostications. We didn’t read palms or Tarot Cards. We didn’t know nothing about astrology and horoscopes. And we had never seen a Ouija Board.

We figured the way things went the previous year was just about the way they were going to go in the upcoming one.

And we certainly helped keep our predicting score up by shying clear of any thoughts of what Leon might do in the coming months. That would be like predicting which way one of Archie Moore’s cows was going to jump when we’d bounce a crabapple off his backside.

Certain things did get by us; we sure didn’t “see” that Sputnik satellite blasting off in 1957. Talk about a shocker! We just couldn’t conceive of something like that happening. It was doubly embarrassing because it was the Communist that beat us to the punch!

But most of the time our “regular” predicting was spot on. Even if we guessed, like any noted forecaster is prone to do, the ordinariness of each subsequent year kept us in pretty good stead.

We had the benefit of normal years.

Me and Ricky, Buddy and Yogi graduated from elementary school and got out of the predicting business altogether. Junior high teachers didn’t seem to care what we thought “might happen” when we got back from the Christmas break. At least, they never asked us to comment on it.

They “retired” us well before major league baseball expanded, Kennedy was assassinated, the Viet Nam War commenced, a president lied on TV, the European Union was formed, the Beatles came to America, global warming became a two-word phrase, Simon and Garfunkel told us there was a “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” politics went “big time” and Indian Jones chased down the Lost Ark.

I’ve got 15-year-old grandchildren that have never had the benefit of a normal year!

The added complexities make the predicting business a little less certain to say the least.

Take baseball for instance. We had 16 teams when I got into the forecasting game. No free agency. No steroid problems. No long-term contracts with opt out clauses. I knew every player on every team.

It was rather easy to keep up. And predict.

There are 30 teams today. And it’s not about batting average and RBIs anymore. They’ve complicated the game by focusing on “wins above replacement,” “on base plus slugging,” “launch angle,” “exit velocity”...

How in the world do you predict something like that!

Elvis has left the building. And so has the surefire hit record predicting business. Too many singers with an assortment of talent ranges muddy the waters.

The only thing predictable about a world-wide pandemic is its unpredictability. And, believe me, there is an infinite myriad of other situations that fit in that same category.

And I’m thinking our current political leaders didn’t get their start like General Ike. Nor are they as beloved. Most folks, including many in their own party, are more interested in where they’d like to send them...than how they came to be on the scene.

Anything remotely connected to any political agenda (which today, of course, means most everything) is a touchy subject; fraught with intrigue, clandestine meetings, backroom bargaining and a fair amount of public “selling” on TV.

If a good, sober, well-meaning politician can’t predict what his, or her, own party is going to do in the New Year, what chance do we have?

You need to understand one other thing, our elementary school “picking” was never personal, ever. I’m not so sure it works that way today.

This predicting stuff, in any category you care to break it down in, has moved to a whole new league. And I am so thankful my grade doesn’t depend on it anymore.

There is one ray of good news. My wife just came home with a pound of bacon. I can FINALLY predict that the price of hogs is definitely going UP!

Respectfully,
Kes

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