Farewell 2007 

By eight people who usually aren't asked to contribute to these year-in-review articles

Michael Vick. War. Mortgages. Crime. Grady. Drought. Genarlow Wilson. Wildfires. Drought.

2007 hasn't been the worst year in Atlanta's history, but as a short list of some of the year's most memorable names and phrases makes apparent, it hasn't exactly been peaches 'n' cream either.

Here are eight Atlantans who put the year in personal perspective.

 

Kedral Long, ticket scalper

How long have you been selling tickets?

Ever since I was 9 years old. We're talking about 32 years.

What's the best thing that happened to you in 2007?

Personally, it's always great for me, because I'm a spiritual person. I believe in God first and foremost. Professionally? It's super, man. I got baseball. God's familiar with me. Everybody's familiar with me in this ticket situation.

What's the worst thing that's happened to you?

They took Vick off the team. If it was Peyton Manning, he'd be playing Sunday.

You don't think Peyton Manning would have been prosecuted?

Him and that judge would probably be playing golf during the off-season.

How has Vick being out affected business?

I wouldn't even be able to talk to you guys. I'd be selling tickets. My kids are missing about two or three gifts off the Christmas tree. Unfortunately for all the guys, we all depend on this guy a lot. (Long holds up a Row 16, Section 117 with a face value of $99.) If Vick was playing, I'd ask $250 for it. Now, I'd take regular price.

What is your New Year's resolution?

Get even closer with God.

 

Nicole Eimyatno, third-grader

What's been your favorite thing about 2007?

Meeting new friends in the third grade.

What's the most fun part of third grade?

We get free-choice time on Friday.

What's the hardest part?

Long words. Like how to spell long words like "condensation."

Where are you from?

Burma.

Do you remember Burma?

Not that much, because I was young. I know how my cousins look.

What's your favorite part of being in the United States?

My family. And I like to learn math.

What other subjects do you like?

Dancing. Soccer. And social studies. I did a dance at U.N. Day in front of the whole class.

If you could change one thing about the world in the new year what would it be?

Stop the government in Burma.

What do you want people in Atlanta to know about you?

Burma is where I was born and where I'd like to be right now.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

Don't watch TV and play games with my family like Monopoly.

And your wish for the new year?

For me and my family to go back to Burma.

 

Monica Wilson, bus driver

How was your 2007?

I had a great year, but some things in my life need to change.

What was the best thing about the year?

My pay raise.

What's the one thing you want MARTA riders to know about your job?

They could take their beef to 2424 Piedmont [MARTA headquarters] and not to me, because I'm just the bus operator. My job isn't easy. We are bus operators. We're babysitters. We're lawyers. We're doctors. The lawyer thing is, "Let me tell you what happened to me last night. What you think I ought to do? Ray-Ray beat me up last night." So, why you didn't call the police on Ray-Ray?

Do you see the effects of the economy with your passengers?

Hell, yeah. Times are hard. Not everybody's like me. I have a job at MARTA. You have your job at Creative Loafing. There's a lot of people out there that lost their jobs. If you do the same route every day for a year and a half, you see people lose things – homes, jobs. You can tell when you look at a person everyday. All of sudden, if I see [someone] every day and her hair isn't combed and her clothes aren't clean, I know something's wrong.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

I don't do that. We don't keep them. There are some things I want to change in my life. It's gonna take longer than the first of the year to do it. It's gonna take the first of the year, a couple of lawyers, and all that good stuff. Seriously.

 

Eduardo, day laborer from Mexico

Where are you from?

I'm from Acapulco.

How old are you?

Twenty-one. This is the second time I come here. The first time was in 1999.

How much did you pay to come to the United States?

The first time, I paid $1,800. A coyote [human trafficker] drove me to California with fake papers. This time, I got a permit for six months. I'm legal now. I have to go back in January.

Why are you here?

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