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Covering All Bases: December 21, 2012

Clarence, We Need A Wonderful World

In my last column, I mentioned It’s A Wonderful Life.  I’m going to reference that movie one final time this holiday season. Even though the holiday season has not always brought me tidings of comfort and joy, I’d like to believe that there is still some magic to be found.

In the movie, Clarence shows George Bailey what the world would be like if George had never been born. It’s a much darker place. When George realizes how wonderful his life really was, he is magically transported back to that much better place. I’m kind of hoping that Clarence would be able to transport us to a happier world. I know that December is his busy season, but here’s hoping for that holiday magic again. Here’s what I’m hoping we’ll find in that place.

It’s a world full of sun splashed playgrounds where families can go to have a catch, and shut out everything else for a little while. It’s a world where parents and their children sit down and have real conversations, not just a quick text or email.

It’s a world where John and George are back with the Beatles and they’re going to be playing at the NCBY Theatre at Westbury. Billy Joel might stop by for a song or two as well, and when Paul does play solo, he sings “Let It Be,” not his latest work, “My Valentine.”

It’s a world where the Ted Williams leads the Red Sox into the Bronx to play Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and the Yankees. There’s no designated hitter, so David Ortiz is playing first for the Sox, while Curt Schilling takes the mound with a bloody sock to start the game as Derek Jeter steps to the plate. Meanwhile across town, the Dodgers, who still call Brooklyn their home are facing the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, while the Mets wait to play the winner at Shea. At Belmont, Secretariat is leaving everyone awestruck as he romps in the Belmont Stakes, while Denis Potvin is hoisting the Stanley Cup at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders have just signed a long-term lease to stay in Nassau County and play at that new state-of-the-art facility.

It’s a world where John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan stand before Congress. JFK reminds everyone to “Ask what they can do for their country,” and The Gipper tells the elected officials to “Tear down this wall,” that is between the parties. Both Democrats and Republicans are inspired by these two men and agree to put their petty differences aside and an agreement is worked out which avoids the financial cliff. In this world, the good of the nation is put ahead of the best interests of political parties.

In this world, people go to movie theaters and shop in malls, and do not worry about individuals with guns opening fire at random. The prescription pill abuse problem is non-existent, so customers and employees enter pharmacies with ease and can drive on the roads without the danger of drivers under the influence.

In this world, climate change doesn’t raise temperatures. It simply affects the weather patterns so all hurricanes are now pushed out to sea without ever making landfall. But just in case one does sneak through, the electric company promises that power will be restored by Nov. 7, and they actually deliver on that.

In this world there are no devastating events which prompt a mayor to call for a marathon to be held.

In this world, everyone is employed and Long Island property taxes are low. When Long Islanders grow up, they buy a home right here because it is such a nice place to raise a family, and because it is so affordable. Their parents are still living here as well and are not considering other places to spend their retirement.

And perhaps, most importantly, everyone has a chance to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. Families realize how important they are to each other and make it a priority to send time together.

Clarence, I know it’s been a while, but I hope you still have a little of that magic left to make this happen. And if you don’t, may all of us find a way on 2013 toward achieving this on our own, even if it just a tiny piece of this utopia.

Season’s greetings!

Ron Scaglia is the Special Sections editor of Anton Newspapers.