Let me throw out a term here that you probably haven’t heard in a while.
The Y2K bug.
Twenty-two years ago, as 1999 changed over to 2000, we all woke up, relieved that the bug didn’t bite. Or if it did, it wasn’t serious.
“Y2K Makes Hardly a Ripple,” our lead headline read on Jan. 1, 2000. “Cash machines kept working in New Zealand, the lights stayed on in India, planes landed safely in China and telephones still rang across the Middle East,” the Associated Press reported.
The fear, you’ll recall, was that a programming glitch called the Y2K bug could cause computers to think the year 2000 was really 1900, causing widespread problems. “Much of the credit for the easy transition should go to computer repairs done in advance of the date change,” the AP added.
On the front page of the Midland section, Greg Kozol’s lead story, “St. Joe Parties Big for 2000,” talked about various events that ushered in the new year. All 163 rooms at the Ramada Inn were booked, the St. Joe Frontier Casino was expecting 1,000 and the Holiday Inn drew 300 for its party.
“At the Civic Arena,” Kozol wrote, “more than 1,000 people paid $35 each for dinner and a chance to see rockers Liquid Fire and Charlie and the Stingrays perform.”
Resident Mike Cross was at the arena and looking forward to the show. “The best party in town will probably be here tonight,” he told Kozol.
Elsewhere in the Jan. 1, 2000, issue, here’s what was going on:
Jess DeHaven wrote a feature on David Berger’s retirement from Inter/Serv, where he has been executive director for nearly 20 years. “I will continue to serve the church in some capacity and also to serve this community,” Berger told DeHaven.
Nichi Sollars examined how loyal customers were the key to the success of three full-service gas stations: Lawrence’s Amoco, Kerns’ Conoco and Kretzer’s Amoco in Savannah. “If someone gets good service, they’ll come back,” said Rick Reed of Kerns’ Conoco.
Our lead editorial praised new civic leadership in Albany and Trenton, signaling it as an encouraging sign for the future: “We are optimistic about Northwest Missouri’s chances for growth over the next decade.”
The Kansas City Chiefs would clinch a playoff spot with a win Sunday over its longtime rival, the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Elvis Grbac leads the Chiefs, while former Chief Rich Gannon will call the signals for Oakland.
“Dear Abby” printed its annual New Year’s column, urging readers to take life’s challenges one day at a time: “Just for today, I will be happy … I will adjust myself to what is … I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable … I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions …”
Movies showing at the Plaza 8 Theater included “Man on the Moon,” “The Green Mile,” “Galaxy Quest,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Bicentennial Man” and “Toy Story 2.”
“It’s Your Call” addressed a variety of topics. One caller was bothered by the lyrics in Eminem’s songs. Another supported Eminem: “Nirvana and Metallica are worse.” One caller was angry because retail stores were taking their Christmas decorations down too early. Then there was this: “I am all prepared for year Y2K. I bought 223 cases of beer and I stacked them in my backyard. After all, beer is food, to survive any calamity.”
No calamity with Y2K, though. Poor guy. Now he’s stuck with all that beer.