- Morning, I rummage through kitchen cabinets for a small dish for my toast, the others all unwashed in the washer. I come upon a short stack of small paper party plates. What the heck, I take one. I see the balloons and streamers pattern and then â€śHappy 2001!â€ť What? The plateâ€™s a leftover from our New Years Eve party on the last night of 2000, a year past the millennium celebration, when we thought the computers were all going to sputter and die, and Western Civilization if not the world would stop like a dead clock.Then there was the stunning irony of â€śHappy 2001,â€ť the blind hope in the future we humans had/have for what turned out to be an ongoing desolation. Yet the New Yearâ€™s party ushering in 2001 was happy. Family and friends gathered in the apartment, eating, drinking, talking, dancing, blowing horns, the TV flashing Times Squareâ€™s happy faces, smooching couples, cheering New Yorkers, hearty out-of-towners, cheery announcers, shots of happy cops (waving no less), a few sailors, soldiers, the melting pot bubbling into the future like our living room. And there it all was, the past, the pre-9/11 world. â€śHappy 2001â€ť!