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My, oh my, how this year has flown by!

It seems as if it was only yesterday that everyone was wondering what would happen when the clocks reached midnight on Dec 31, 1999. Were you one of the people who worried about whether the Millennium Bug would be unleashed and wreak havoc worldwide? Fortunately, the Millennium Bug turned out to be more like a gnat than a killer bee and most of us were spared any electronic glitches or other ill effects as the 21st century was born.

Now, as we are about to complete the first year of the new century, it's the time of year when some of our cares and concerns can be temporarily set aside in favor of the joys of family, friends, food, and fun. For as long as I can remember, the holiday season has been my favorite time of year.

Those of you who know me will readily agree that I'm a pretty hefty man, and although I really like to eat, that's certainly not the only reason I enjoy this season.

Besides the sweet smells wafting from kitchens, the chill in the air, the scent of evergreens, the hustle and bustle of myriad shopping trips, and the rustling of wrapping paper as treasures found on those trips are wrapped and unwrapped, have excited me since childhood. I may still be a big kid at heart, but I really love this time of year.

I'm also very fortunate and blessed to have all my immediate family close at hand to share in and add to my enjoyment this holiday season. I'm especially happy this year to have met a very special woman with whom I plan to spend the rest of my life.

To me, holidays, families and friends just go together like mistletoe and kisses.

While I feel fortunate to be able to enjoy the season in so many ways, I know all too well there are countless others who won't have a happy holiday season without helping hands to make it possible.

I've heard stories about the kind deeds some of you do during the holidays and throughout the year, such as drilling free wells or helping needy people resolve pump or well problems at little or no cost to them, and you certainly deserve to be commended for your generosity.

For those of you who may not ever have considered doing something during the holidays to help others, I'd like to encourage you to make it a point this year to do so.

If you don't know where to look to find someone you can help, there are plenty of worthwhile organizations such as the Salvation Army which would be happy to direct you to someone in need of your help. Also, check out Stuart Smith's column in this issue, he points out several suggestions for those of you who are interested in getting involved.

In addition to all the holiday season activities, two major events will be held in December that are important for those involved in the drilling industry. The inaugural Directional Boring 2000 trade show is scheduled Dec.7-9 at the Expo Center in Shreveport, LA, and the 52nd Annual National Ground Water Association Convention and Exposition will be Dec. 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. Preview stories about these shows can be found in this issue of National Driller.

Both of these special events will offer plenty of opportunities to see and learn about the latest in equipment, products, and technology, along with numerous top-notch educational workshops, seminars and networking opportunities. If you're involved in directional boring or the groundwater industry, you'll certainly find something interesting and informative.

In closing, I want to offer congratulations to National Driller Art Director Mary McAllister and her husband, Evan, on the birth of our publication's newest "staff member." Little Janérae McAllister weighed in at eight pounds two ounces and the new parents and baby daughter are all doing very well.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Danny Lewis, National Driller's Editor