01/01/09 — Locals wonder what 2009 will bring

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Locals wonder what 2009 will bring

By Anessa Myers, Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 1, 2009 1:46 PM

John Franklin is worried.

"New Year's always makes you wonder where you'll be on the next one," the 58-year-old said. "But this time around, I just hope I'm not laid off -- that I can put food on the table."

Debrah Wiley feels secure in her job, but still wants a few more dollars in her pocket.

"If gas prices go up next year like they did this year, I might just stop driving all together," she said. "We almost didn't get by when they were at $4."

And 61-year-old Eric Manson just wants to see the stock market rebound.

"So maybe I can retire on time," he said.

But while many local residents are hoping 2009 sees them better off than they were the past 365 days, nearly as many remain uncertain about whether their wish will come true.

Like 81-year-old Charles Wester.

"Will it get better in 2009? No. It's going to be hard," he said. "That's it in a nutshell. It's going to be hard."

Patricia Yarnes thinks continuation of wars in two desert theaters will be the hard part.

"I don't think it's going to get any better," she said. "The old year was not the worst ever. On a personal level, I had tragedy way before that. But on a global level, I feel 2008 was much worse."

Still, some refuse to look at 2009 without some optimism.

Marvetta Grady, 39, is hopeful.

"I pray that it will be (better than last year)," she said. "I'm just hoping for the best, as usual."

So is Debby Wise.

"I'm really looking forward to the new year," she said. "Things are already getting better, and I believe the more negative you think, the more negative things will happen."

Tammy Sanders from Rosewood is optimistic about the new year because of President-elect Barack Obama.

"I think the country has changed a little in their thinking, and (Obama) is going to have a positive impact," she said. "You're always optimistic at the time of the new year, but I am hopeful."

And Mary Vanidestine, 38, said she believes the economic downturn will force people to be "wiser" in 2009.

"I think people will use wisdom with living their lives, with pleasure and with work," she said. "I think people will go back to using better quality items than quantity. I think people will use the land more, to grow vegetables and things like that. Everyone's going to learn to live a better life. ... You can start to see that people are making better choices."

Franklin would rather stop predicting.

"You can't really. I mean how can we really know what might happen?" he said. "We should all just take New Year's Day as a time to spend every minute we can with the people we love. I mean, you never know what's going to happen tomorrow, you know? Much less months from now."