Monday, December 31, 2012


Okay, I admit it. I'm superstitious. I know it doesn't make sense, but I've always been a little bit afraid of Friday the 13th. Now you tell me we're going to have a whole year of "13"? Saints preserve us!

What is it about that number that led some hotels to eliminate that floor and just go from 12 to 14? I mean, I'm not the only one with this irrational fear.

There are all sorts of explanations. Some say it is because there were 13 around the table at the last supper, Jesus and the 12 disciples. Or maybe it's because 13 is the first "teen" and we all know the teen years are the worst! Or the best, depending on your perspective.

And that's the whole problem. I looked back at 1913 to see what historical events had happened in that year. Was it an unlucky year? Some would say so. That's the year our country established the income tax as we know it today. And the year we established the federal reserve bank. Makes that fiscal cliff sound even more ominous, doesn't it?

It was the year Jesse Owens was born. And Richard Nixon. Woodrow Wilson became president with democrats in control of the house and the senate. King Tut's tomb was discovered. Gas was 8 cents a gallon and a new Model T cost $550. (About $14,000 in today's dollars.) Lincoln Highway, the first road across America, opened.

So, is that lucky or unlucky?

I mean, there are 52 weeks in a year, so we should have 13 months instead of 12. Then every month would be 4 weeks long. A typical television season has 13 episodes. It was the lucky jersey number of basketball giant Wilt Chamberlain. Our country began with 13 colonies and still bears 13 stripes on the flag. And that little country singer phenomenon Taylor Swift says 13 is her lucky number.  Who wouldn't want luck like hers?

We can't put the world in one of those hotel elevators and just skip 2013. Like it or not, it's the next floor. We have to step out and make our own luck. Good or bad. Or better. We can always strive for better.

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