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Columnist John Anderson was reminded recently that he had a job for a year in high school at a bowling alley. Anderson cleaned the ash trays on the lanes and put away the alley balls, among other things.

Someone asked me if I was going to write a predictions column for 2021. I thought about it, what I want to see in East Texas. What I want to see in politics, in business and in sports.

But then I remembered 2020 and the lack of control we had over any predictions, plans or actions.

It was the year of the unknown and this year, I want to see the end of questioning experts.

So many people who have spent their lives becoming experts in their field of work became experts in politics, religion and the medical field.

I had 47 people tell me to watch a guy in his vehicle on a cellphone for medical advice. The best advice I had during the pandemic was from a doctor at a Longview Rotary Club meeting who said take certain vitamins, be careful and go watch local football. It sounded like a good prescription, attend two football games weekly, get some fresh air and exercise while you are at the stadium walking the steps.

In 2021, I don’t want to hear “yea but’s.” Someone who actually has spent a career studying facts gets “yea but” from someone who is an overnight expert.

For centuries we trusted experts until those same experts or other experts in the same field said they were wrong.

Experts were wrong on a lot of things during the pandemic, but many times they erred on the side of caution.

I’m looking forward to this final spike and seeing more and more people become immune to getting sick. Yea, I’m going to listen to the experts and I’m going to keep watching football.

So the hand washing continues.

A friend stopped by the house to drop something off before Christmas and I had him wash his hands and wear a mask. I didn’t mean to come off as a germ freak, but it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to wash hands and not smell someone’s coffee breath.

He then reminded me of a job I had for a year in high school at a bowling alley.

He said “you used to clean the ash trays on the lanes and put away the alley balls.” I agreed. “Then, we would grab shoes that 10 others wore earlier that day, and four of us would grab 12 bowling balls for our lane that everyone else had used and they were never cleaned.”

He then added, “we would order fries, burgers and mozzarella sticks and we all ate them with the same fingers we grabbed the shoes, the bowling balls and even the pencils that were resting in the ashtrays to keep score.”

I turned on the faucet at the house and said, “Yea but.”

There goes my resolutions and wishes for 2021.

John Anderson is the regional editor of the Longview News-Journal and the Tyler Morning Telegraph. He can be reached at janderson@mrobertsmedia.com.

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John Anderson is the regional editor of the Longview News-Journal and the Tyler Morning Telegraph. He can be reached at janderson@mrobertsmedia.com.

Editor

John is a two-time national columnist of the year. He has earned top AP awards for news, videos and sports writing and won the Thomas J. Bulson Investigative Journalism award. He has appeared on CNBC's American Greed, FOX News and CNN.