By Daniel Dunaief
As we round out the second week of December, I’d like to offer some suggestions for a 2022 time capsule.
— A Ukrainian flag. Ukraine, with help from Americans and many other nations, has fended off Russia’s ongoing military assault. The question for 2023 will be whether they can continue to defend the country amid a potential decline in international support.
— A waterlogged dollar. With inflation at decades-high levels, the dollar isn’t buying as much as it had been.
— Florida man makes announcement. I would include a copy of the New York Post front page the day after former president Donald Trump, to no one’s surprise, announced he would be running for president in 2024. A previous ardent supporter of the former president, the Post may be leading the charge in another political direction to find a new standard bearer for the GOP.
— A red dot. Certainly, the Republicans taking over the majority in the house will have important consequences, with numerous investigations and a divided government on the horizon, but Republicans didn’t win as many national elections as anticipated.
— A miniature replica of the Supreme Court, with the words Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in front of it. The Supreme Court case, which reversed the Roe v. Wade decision, removed the federal right to an abortion, enabling states to pass new laws and contributing, in part, to smaller midterm wins for Republicans.
On the much smaller personal front:
— Throat lozenges. I got COVID-19 for the first time this year and my throat was so painful for a week that I couldn’t talk. The lozenges didn’t work, but they would highlight numerous efforts to reduce pain from a virus that was worse than any flu I’ve ever had.
— The number 62. This, yet again, wasn’t the year the New York Yankees won the World Series. Nope, they didn’t even get there, yet again falling, this time without winning a single game, to the Houston Astros. It was, however, a wonderful chase for the American League home run record by Aaron Judge, who just signed a $360 million extension with the Yankees.
— Wedding bells and a tiny nerf football. For the first time in years, my wife and I attended two family weddings this year. We loved the chance to dance, catch up with relatives, eat great food, and run across a college baseball field with a $7 nerf football we purchased from the hotel lobby store.
— A miniature swamp boat. On one of the more memorable trips to New Orleans to visit our son, my wife and I saw numerous alligators and heard memorable Louisiana tales from Reggie Domangue, whose anecdotes and personal style became the model for the firefly in the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog.”
— A shark tooth. During the summer, Long Islanders worried about local sharks, who bit several area swimmers. The apex predator, which is always in the area, likely had higher numbers amid a recovery in the numbers of their prey, which are menhaden, also known as bunker fish and, despite the prevalence of the music from the movie “Jaws,” does not include humans.
— A Good Steer napkin. My favorite restaurant from my childhood closed after 65 years, leaving behind an onion ring void and shuttering the backdrop to numerous happy family outings. If I had a way to retire expressions the way baseball teams retire numbers, I would retire the words “Burger Supreme” on a food version of Monument Park.
— A giant question mark. Scientists throughout Long Island (and the world )constantly ask important questions. Some researchers will invent technology we may use all day long, like cell phones. Others may make discoveries that lead to life-saving drugs. Let’s celebrate great questions.