New Year’s tradition of kissing continues

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Butler Reeves knows who’s giving him his traditional New Year’skiss – she’s sitting right next to him, where she’s been every NewYear’s Eve since they were married in November of 1946.

Butler and Alma Reeves have seen a lot of New Year’s, and thisyear they’ll be spending theirs at Golden Living Center, togetheras always.

The Reeves obviously have plenty of New Year’s memories,including the times they went out of town to revel in the newbeginnings of a fresh year.

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“Here we were this close to New Orleans and we’d never been, sowe went on New Year’s,” he said. “Twice.”

This year, they’re staying home, though.

“Oh, we’ll be asleep by midnight,” Butler said as he reachedover to the woman he’s loved for more than 62 years. “But I’ll kissher for you now.”

Jim and Katherine Bennett, 28 and 30, are ready to pucker uptoo. As they looked at post holiday sales at a local retailer, theysaid Wednesday night will be a night to celebrate and spend withfriends. They’ll attend a party with a group of neighbors andfamily members.

“But oh yeah, I’ll kiss him at midnight,” she said. “We’ve beenkissing for six New Year’s now. It’s supposed to be bad luck not tokiss the person you want to be with the next year.”

Nineteen-year-old Shelly Case was in the lipstick aisle lookingfor the perfect shade to go with her dress for New Year’s Eve. Shesaid she’s got plans in Hattiesburg with her friends, fellowUniversity of Southern Mississippi students. She said she doesn’thave her sights set on anyone in particular.

“I guess I’m looking for a frog,” she said. “If he’s not aprince, then oh well.”

And Jimmy White of Summit was looking for the perfect beer to gowith his party plans.

“Good question,” he said. “I don’t know who I’m going to kiss. Iguess that’s why you go out and have a few.”

Meanwhile, an extra second will be added to atomic clocks thisyear, almost like a “leap second,” official timekeepers said. Whatdo revelers plan to do with the extra second?

Case said she won’t be reapplying her lipstick.

“I guess I’ll just kiss a little longer?” she said, laughing.”I’ll see if that helps.”

The Bennetts said once the proverbial ball drops, they’re goinghome, extra second or not.

“Our coach turns into a pumpkin at midnight,” Katherine said.”We’re old people. We need our sleep. And we’re paying ababysitter.”

But Butler and Alma Reeves will be together, making anothermemory, even if it’s in their dreams. Asleep or not, just beingwith the woman he’s loved all his life is enough.

“Every new year is special,” he said.